American Sociological Association

When the Marae Moves into the City: Being Māori in Urban Palmerston North

Through processes of colonization, many indigenous peoples have become absorbed into settler societies and new ways of existing within urban environments. Settler society economic, legal, and social structures have facilitated this absorption by recasting indigenous selves in ways that reflect the cultural values of settler populations. Urban enclaves populated and textured by indigenous groups such as Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) can be approached as sites of existential resistance to the imposition of colonial ways of seeing and understanding the self. In maintaining everyday social practices and ways‐of‐being that traverse rural and urban locales, Māori preserve and reproduce cultural selves in ways that make aspects of cityscapes more homely for Māori ways‐of‐being. This article brings issues of place and being to the fore by investigating Māori reassemblage of cultural selves within a low SES urban environment as an ongoing resistance to colonial absorption.


Pita King, Darrin Hodgetts, Mohi Rua, and Mandy Morgan





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