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Weaving 'muka' and 'iron'? : a content analysis of how Māori and Pākehā/western inter-relationships are articulated in academic texts for Māori educational benefit : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education at Massey University
This thesis analyses and describes how different academics articulate and define inter-relationships between Māori and Pākehā people, in terms of power and identity and Māori and Pākehā/Western epistemological worldviews. In examining a selection of four academic texts, it aims to provide an insight into how varying definitions and articulations of Māori and Pākehā/Western inter-relationships are utilised for varying philosophical, theoretical and political purposes. In comparing and contrasting the content analytic findings with a review of historical and more contemporary exchanges between Māori and Pākehā people and Māori and Pākehā/Western epistemologies in the realm of education it aims to probe into the over utilisation of monoglossic binaries to inform theorising heavily influential in education spheres concerning Māori. In noting that a small number of academics are beginning to move beyond the sole use of binaries to inform their position of how education for Māori ought to be conceived and conceptualised, this thesis suggests that what is lacking in educational academic discourse impacting upon Māori people is a more carefully considered theory of Māori heterogeneity, diversity and ambivalence. This research aims to provide some significant sign-posts from which a more thoughtful and careful examination of the blurring of Māori and Pākehā power and identity boundaries and Māori and Pākehā/Western epistemological worldviews can take place. It is suggested that when the political, philosophical and epistemological diversities of Māori people are legitimated and validated in academic discourse, more appropriate and purposeful strategies can be devised to provide suitable forms of education for them.