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An exploration of Māori cultural embeddedness

18 months
Approved budget:
Dr Ririwai Fox
Health issue:
Wellbeing (autonomy self-determination)
Proposal type:
Māori Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Māori cultural identity is an important consideration to Māori health and wellbeing. But there are two opposing perspectives about what we mean by cultural identity. To some, whakapapa (genealogy) is all you need to identify as Māori; to others, there are certain criteria that people need to meet in order to be truly Māori. My research introduces the concept of cultural embeddedness to reconcile these perspectives. People can identify as being Māori, but they may not be culturally embedded in their Māori culture. This concept doesn't place blame on the individual, it recognises that colonisation has disconnected Māori people from their culture. However, it invites them to reclaim their identity by becoming embedded. My research explores this idea through theory, interviews and survey. Ultimately, I hope to create a scale that can measure the correlates of embeddedness to wellbeing for Māori.