Sociology: Homosexuality and Maori

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Sociology is the study of human social activity from lower level of individuals and interaction to the higher level of systems and social structures. Sociology scope is extremely broad, it includes various topics focused on contemporary social issues such as the studies of colonisation, class, ethnicity, gender and environmental problems (Gregor and McLennan 2010). Two of these topics which sociologists are interested in are the conflicts relating to ethnicity and anti-homosexuality. These differences in ethnicity and gender lead to social inequalities and social identities. This essay will summarise the key points of the two readings: “Are we all New Zealanders now? A Maori response to the Pakeha quest for indigeneity (Mikaere 2004)” and “Queerying Masculinities in School: Faggots, fairies and the first XV (Town 1999)”. This essay will also critically examine various ideas from different writers in compromising with my own experiences and understanding in order to engage in-depth with these two articles. Word count: Introduction 146 words

The first reading examines the three most important issues regarding the relationship between Pakeha and Maori. These are Pakeha’s claim for indigeneity; Maori’s response on the Pakeha’s quest of indigeneity; and a key solution for a better world for both Maori and Pakeha. Firstly, Mikaere analyses some recent and previous statements by Pakeha including Michael King, Trevor Mallard and Don Brash who argue indigeneity for all New Zealanders. These writers all claimed that New Zealand settlers (include Pakeha) should have the right to be here and pakeha should also be seen as the second indigenous group as equal as Maori in New Zealand no matter where they were originally from, how long they have stayed here and what ethnicity, class or religions they belong to. For example, Trevor argues that indigeneity is about to diversify the ways in which we belong and identify with our countries. These are Chinese, Indian and European New Zealanders who have become deeply indigenous too, just like other kiwis coming from various countries. Similarly, Michael King also declares that for most New Zealanders, regardless of their ethnicity, home is here, New Zealand and that just because people have lived here longer than another does not make them more indigenous than the latter arrivals, nor does it give them the right to exclude others from fully involving in the society. Like Mallard and King, Don Brash shares a similar dream that we will all become one person and asserts that other things such as religion, profession, gender and political allegiance matter more than ethnicity (Mikaere 2004).

Because of similar assertions of Pakeha’s indigeneity, they, therefore, all come up to a same solution for the burden of guilt currently on shoulders of many Pakeha, that is simply to forgive and forget. It means that colonisers are simply to deny personal responsibility for detrimental impacts of colonisation on Maori. Therefore, Maori must forgive and forget and Pakeha must be allowed to forget so that we can all live together as one big, happy family. However, Maori will never forget what happened in the past when their resources were wrongly taken, their language and culture were denied and spirituality was suppressed. In addition, the colonial and settlement processes are the true cause of many disadvantages that so many Maori are still facing today such as unequal distributions in income level, education, healthcare and political power. At the same time, Pakeha cannot forget the past either because they are products of an invading culture. This means they will not escape from the insecurity and defensiveness about their identity unless the guilt and problems happened in past are solved. This is illustrated by their actions of decrying Maori’s language, culture and history, but trying to identify themselves as New Zealanders by cutting off their colonial heritage or pretending Maori culture as New...
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