Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It isn't colonisation causing Maori violence


This just-published paper examines the incidence of intimate partner violence (IPV).

The over-representation of Maori is examined. The authors looked at three theories;

1/ That Maori are more likely to be economically deprived and this goes hand-in-hand with increased risk of IPV

2/ That Maori have greater exposure to childhood violence so a intergenerational influence is at work

3/ Colonisation has torn Maori away from cultural roots and identity

They tested each and found that while the first two held some validity the last held none.

A final explanation that requires discussion concerns the extent to which the observable ethnic asymmetry in IPV relates to Māori cultural identity, as is proposed by the systemic theory of colonisation. This explanation to account for the over-representation of Māori in IPV was not supported by the data. In particular, a preliminary analysis of the bivariate relationships between cultural identity and IPV showed similar rates of both victimisation and perpetration among those identifying as sole Māori and those with a Māori/other identity. Had strength of cultural identity, including level of affiliation to cultural domains, played an explanatory role in understanding ethnic differences in IPV, one would have expected to see a gradient in which rates of violence varied with degree of Māori identity, but this was not the case.

This is quite earth-shattering for those Maori who strongly assert that bringing people back in touch with their cultural identity will put them on the straight and narrow so-to-speak. Rehab programmes through to separatist Maori education should all be viewed with a new degree of scepticism as to whether they will deliver what is promised.

Certainly reducing socio-economic hardship and inter-generational welfare dependence look more promising as methods of reducing IPV.


Anonymous said...

Such a interesting view. because i'm Maori, and proud of it, and my people are'nt in power i wonder whose values and identity have i been taught? As far as i can remember we were'nt taught the reo of my culture when i went to Primary. None of the values were of my people and english was a priority; reading, writing speaking and pronounciation. If you are Maori you would have greater understanding of what has happend since colonisation, this is not to say you have no understanding. if you are not indigenous to the country to which you are living in the understanding or concept is deprived of substance

Anonymous said...

I have been reading a lot about the history of colonisation. The traditions and rituals of the Maori were shocking to say the least. It has been almost two centuries since the colonists encountered this stone age culture. There is no shortage of accounts of the behaviour of the indigenous people of New Zealand. For example...
This is an insight into how power was wielded and how the biggest 'Brute' ruled by terror and force. This is not a tradition that will die lightly. To leave behind tribalism in 200 years is a great feat, but we still have a way to go.