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  • Multiculturalism, Biculturalism, and National Identity in Aotearoa / New Zealand

    Katherine Smits

    Chapter from the book: Ashcroft R. & Bevir M. 2019. Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on Theory and Practice.


    Chapter 6 explores the ways in which New Zealand’s multiculturalism is framed by the various political, economic and nationalist projects of different state and non-state actors, yet is also invoked in order to support them, becoming a form of governmentality sustained by languages of value. The term “multiculturalism” was first introduced into New Zealand in the 1970s to refer to settler-Maori relations, but it is now assumed to apply to the diversity resulting from non-British immigration, and operates against the background of a broader biculturalism and international norms. This chapter shows how attitudes and understandings towards multiculturalism in New Zealand are shaped by the interactions between intersecting discourses regarding cultural pluralism, indigenous peoples and civic values, reflecting the distinctive historical, social, economic and global matrix in which it is located.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Smits, K. 2019. Multiculturalism, Biculturalism, and National Identity in Aotearoa / New Zealand. In: Ashcroft R. & Bevir M (eds.), Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.73.f

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    Published on July 12, 2019