Developing a framework for researching ethnicity and multiculturalism in New Zealand

Lowe, John (2010). Developing a framework for researching ethnicity and multiculturalism in New Zealand. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis examines a variety of theoretical issues relating to ethnicity, multiculturalism and racism in New Zealand. It is argued that whilst the country’s history has been replete with anti-Asiatic racisms, it is necessary to transcend the timeless notion of racism as colour discrimination and to instead, situate past and present anti-Asiatic racisms within the nation’s temporally specific positions in modernity. Through an orientation to time and diachrony, the research considers if a liberal policy of multiculturalism is conducive for contemporary New Zealand society. In view of academic debates suggesting that a ‘practical’ version of multiculturalism exists alongside the country’s constitutional biculturalism, it is argued that the de facto version of multiculturalism exhibits the characteristics of commercial and conservative multiculturalisms which fail to address the problem of racism. A liberal form of multiculturalism, it is maintained, will not produce the best outcome for New Zealand because it is insensitive to indigenous rights and will remain mutually exclusive from biculturalism. This research then concludes with a discussion on the likely future of cosmopolitanism in New Zealand, both as a theory and how it might possibly work in practice without immolating the hegemony of biculturalism.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)


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