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Labelling Identities: the Views and Experiences of Second Generation Pacific Peoples in New Zealand

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Labelling Identities: the Views and Experiences of Second Generation Pacific Peoples in New Zealand

Tousignant Gauthier, Martine (2013) Labelling Identities: the Views and Experiences of Second Generation Pacific Peoples in New Zealand. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The second half of the twentieth century saw a large scale migration of peoples from Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands to New Zealand, to the extent that they now represent more than 7% of the total population of that country. It was only after their arrivals to New Zealand that they experienced being grouped together and labelled in panethnic terms. Second-generation Pacific peoples, though born in New Zealand, have faced their own set of challenges in regards to establishing their identity in their new homeland. This research investigates how second generation Pacific peoples negotiate and articulate their identity as New Zealander and as Pacific peoples. Through exploring identity labels (i.e. Fresh of the boat and plastic), I examine these negotiations and articulations both in terms of assimilation and in terms of panethnicity (i.e. Pacific Islanders, Pacific peoples, Pasifika). Nineteen individual and one group interview were conducted with Wellington University students of Samoan, Tongan and Cook Islands background. The narratives reveal a paradox surrounding these identity labels: while they are a creation of outsiders and are criticised for being pejorative, they are also embraced by some members of the group to whom they apply. I argue that the acceptance and usage of controversial identity labels (in this case, panethnic labels and Fresh off the boat) by in-group members is attributable to an ongoing re-appropriation process whereby individuals or groups reclaim a term and redefine it in their own words in order to give it a more positive meaning.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tousignant Gauthier, Martine
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:16 December 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jourdan, Christine
ID Code:978115
Deposited By: MARTINE TOUSIGNANT GAUTHIER
Deposited On:03 Jul 2014 17:45
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:46
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