• Being Explicit about Culture: Māori, Neoliberalism, and the New Zealand Parliament

    Author(s):
    Ilana Gershon (see profile)
    Date:
    2008
    Group(s):
    Anthropology
    Subject(s):
    Cultural anthropology, Political history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    #maori, #legislature, #parliament, #indigeneity
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6KN2Q
    Abstract:
    In this article, I explore how people use the culture concept in legislatures to understand the minorities they legislate for and about. I focus on recent debates in the New Zealand parliament over whether the indigenous Ma¯ ori are a cultural group or a racial group. A Westminster parliament system encourages these debates, in which political parties argue that Ma¯ ori are either cultural or racial but not both. For the ruling Labour Party and its allies, Ma¯ ori are cultural; for their opposition, the National Party and its allies, Ma¯ ori are a racial group. This division is possible only because of the legislators’ neoliberal assumptions about identity categories. To complicate these political divisions, Ma¯ ori MPs currently belong to political parties from all parts of the political spectrum, and their effectiveness as culture bearers in a parliamentary context can disrupt the terms of this debate.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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