|dc.description.abstract||During the 1980s — responding to indigenous Māori demands for self determination and redress for 150 years of violent colonisation — a dominant group (Pākehā) anti-racism movement adopted the Treaty of Waitangi as a framework to address issues of dominant cultural hegemony in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Consulting with Māori groups, this social movement (described as the Pākehā Treaty movement) developed a methodology of “co-intentional” relationships. This practice saw Māori and Pākehā groups working with their own people separately to progress a decolonisation agenda.
During the early 2000s, a “third generation” of activists with a commitment to decolonisation sought a place in this Pākehā Treaty movement. This third generation brought with them questions of identity and practice as they worked to negotiate their own cross-cultural relationships in a Pākeha space.
From a position as “insider” in this social movement, I draw upon the social constructionist influence on social movement studies, positioning meaning making as a “knowledge-practice” central to the work of social movements. In this qualitative study, I use narrative inquiry to explore the stories of third-generation participants for the meanings they construct about their Treaty/decolonisation work. The meanings participants construct are examined in dialogue ¬-with movement discourse, where there is both convergence and tension.
By focusing on meaning making in the cross-cultural group experience, this research identifies that third-generation decolonisation practices flow from, and are critical to, the formation of socially just relationships. Out of the decentering encounters of socially just relationships, third-generation participants open up the fixed meanings of “others”, of identity, of power and language and the ways in which these “singularities” do not serve a decolonisation agenda. From my reading of activist narratives, I argue that socially just relationships allow for agonistic dialogue, where tension in meaning can be generative, where differences and challenges produced intergenerationally and intersubjectively can produce “new ways of being”.
This study contributes and speaks to several audiences: to the development of relationships in the Pakeha Treaty movement, to the cultural turn in Social Movement Studies, and to the re-imagining of methodologies in Peace and Conflict Studies.||