An indigenous-controlled study of dominant ‘settler’ privilege (the flip side of the negative effects of colonisation) has provided valuable insights about the nuanced nature of ‘white privilege’ within a colonial context, the discourses and values supporting
Päkehä dominance, and potential sites for social change.
Päkehä elicit a range of responses when invited to examine their lives and their privilege, some are congruent with the international literature while others have been quite surprising and unexpected. We will consider some of the congruent discourses around notions of “comfort, security and choices” that are prevalent in the data we have collected and share in some critical reflections of the unexpected reactions and lessons learned in order to build and strengthen understanding of privilege within the context of colonisation.
We will conclude by inviting attendees to consider the cultural, political and historic forces within the Aotearoa context that have produced both compliance and divergence from the generally accepted responses of dominant group members to societal privilege on the basis of race and ethnicity.
Belinda Borell (Ngati Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi, Whakatohea) is a Mäori researcher with a particular interest in rangatahi Mäori, identity, racism, social justice, whiteness and critical race theory. In 2005 she has completed her Masters thesis - Living in the City Ain't So Bad: Cultural Diversity of South Auckland Rangatahi. She has recently completed a study that explores how societal privilege impacts on population health.
Mandi Gregory is predominantly interested in the areas of interpersonal and structural violence, including racism, gender violence and privilege. She has worked as a qualitative researcher with Te Ropu Whariki and SHORE since 2005 on a diverse range of research projects covering topics such as Päkehä privilege and health disparities, media and Te Tiriti, marketing and alcohol related harm, and in evaluating community wellbeing initiatives.