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Target Article - Theoretical underpinnings of Kaupapa Māori directed practice

Author(s): Anaru Eketone

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: critical theory | kaupapa Māori theory | native theory

This article attempts to unbundle and identify the theoretical underpinnings of Kaupapa Māori practice. It suggests that Kaupapa Māori as a concept, has been underpinned by two differing, sometimes competing theoretical perspectives. One is Critical Theory, which comes from the Marxist/socialist grand theoretical tradition seeking to challenge and transform oppressive structures. The second is constructivism, where knowledge is validated through a social construction of the world, thus is located and specific. This article contends that a Critical Theory informed approach is not the understanding held by many in the Māori community of what Kaupapa Māori practice is, instead, this article advocates for a constructivist ‘Native Theory’ approach as being one that fits better both with the community view as well as a theoretical explanation that is more conducive to Māori development. While these two theoretical explanations may seem to be in conflict with one another, a preliminary model is presented that integrates these approaches
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