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Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1848139503
ISBN-10: 1848139500
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Editorial Reviews


"This book is a counter-story to Western ideas about the benefits of the pursuit of knowledge. Looking through the eyes of the colonized, cautionary tales are told from an indigenous perspective, tales designed not just to voice the voiceless but to prevent the dying - of people, of culture, of ecosystems. The book is particularly strong in situating the development of counter-practices of research within both Western critiques of Western knowledge and global indigenous movements. Informed by critical and feminist evaluations of positivism, Tuhiwai Smith urges researching back and disrupting the rules of the research game toward practices that are more respectful, ethical, sympathetic and useful vs racist practices and attitudes, ethnocentric assumptions and exploitative research. Using Kaupapa Maori, a fledgling approach toward culturally appropriate research protocols and methodologies, the book is designed primarily to develop indigenous peoples as researchers. In short, Tuhiwai Smith begins to articulate research practices that arise out of the specificities of epistemology and methodology rooted in survival struggles, a kind of research that is something other than a dirty word to those on the suffering side of history." - Patti Lather, Professor Of Educational Policy and Leadership, Ohio State University and author of Getting Smart: Feminist Research and Pedagogy With/In The Postmodern (Routledge, 1991) and Troubling The Angels: Women Living With HIV/AIDS, with Chris Smithies (Westview, 1997)

"Finally, a book for researchers working in indigenous context. Finally, a book especially for indigenous researchers. Linda Smith goes far beyond decolonizing research methodology. Our contextual histories, politics, and cultural considerations are respectfully interwoven together. Our distinctive-ness remains distinct, but there are important places where our issues and methodologies intersect. Stories of research experiences, examples of projects, critical examination, and mindful reflection are woven together to make meaningful and practical designs related to indigenous issues and research." - Jo-Ann Archibald, Stó:lo Nation and Director of the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia

"A book like this is long overdue. It will be most useful for both indigenous and non-indigenous researchers in educational and non-educational institutions. It will empower indigenous students to undertake research which uses methods that are culturally sensitive and appropriate instead of those which they have learned about in Research Methods courses in universities which assume that research and research methods are culture-free and that researchers occupy some kind of moral high ground from which they can observe their subjects and make judgements about them." - Konai Thaman, Professor of Pacific Education and Culture, and UNESCO Chair of Education, University of the South Pacific

"Linda Tuhiwai Smith is the leading theorist on decolonization of Maori in New Zealand. This book opts for a dynamic interpretation of power relations of domination, struggle and emancipation. She uses a dual framework - the whakapapa of Maori knowledge and European epistemology - to interpret and capture the world of reality for a moment in time. Thus the search for truth in complex human relations is a never-ending quest." - Ranginui Walker, formerly Professor of Maori Studies Department and Pro-vice Chancellor, University of Auckland

"We have needed this book. Academic research facilitates diverse forms of economic and cultural imperialism by shaping and legitimating policies which entrench existing unjust power relations. Linda Tuhiwai Smith's powerful critique of dominant research methodologies is eloquent, informed and timely. Her distinctive proposals for an indigenous research agenda are especially valuable. Decolonization, she reminds us, cannot be limited to deconstructing the dominant story and revealing underlying texts, for none of that helps people improve their current conditions or prevents them from dying. This careful articulation of a range of research methodologies is vital, welcome and full of promise." - Laurie Anne Whitt, Professor of Philosophy, Michigan Technological University

"A brilliant, evocative and timely book about an issue that serves to both define and create indigenous realities. In recent years, indigenous people, often led by the emerging culturally affirmed and positioned indigenous scholars, have intensified the struggle to break free from the chains of colonialism and its oppressive legacy. In writing this book, Linda Tuhiwai Smith makes a powerful and impassioned contribution to this struggle. No budding researcher should be allowed to leave the academy without reading this book and no teacher should teach without it at their side." - Bob Morgan, Director, Jumbunna Caiser, Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, University of Technology, Sydney

About the Author

Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou) is a Professor of Education and Mâori Development and Pro Vice Chancellor Mâori at the University of Waikato in Hamilton New Zealand.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books; 2 edition (May 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848139500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848139503
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Looking at Western research practices from the �underside� of a positivist paradigm deeply entrenched and diffused throughout public and private educational, governmental, and corporate tentacles, Linda Tuhiwai Smith is a Maori (New Zealand) intellectual presenting a counter-methodological narrative stemming from a collective indigenous historical cynicism and whose voice bespeaks the refusal to be objectified by an inherently racist and imperialist mode of constructing knowledge and re-presentations of non-Western peoples. Deconstructing Western research paradigms is simply an act of defiance and resistance for Smith, particularly since she constructs a radical alternative methodology rooted in self-determination, social justice, intellectual property rights, and active participation in all knowledge-making, contributions to the research processes, and dissemination of �findings�. The exigency of articulating a research methodology aimed at critical praxis for Western and non-Western peoples interested in indigenous issues emerges at a point where globalization and neo-liberal imperial practices and investments are opening new spaces for the unilateral and/or predominant benefit of Western research regimes that continue capitalizing and objectifying indigenous peoples through racist and incorrigible projects that erase human dignity, i.e. Human Genome Diversity Project.
The book can strategically be divided into two main sections: the first section explores the contemporary and historical legacy of an imperial tryst between Western scientific, economic, and ideological formations shaping relations with alterity (Chapters 1-5); the second section outlines a radical alternative methodology for conducting research on indigenous peoples and issues (Chapters 6-9).
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By A Customer on April 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tuhiwai Smith's masterpiece is a must-read for any discipline. Her work questions the most basic assumptions upon which academic research lies; her influence is widely felt in fields as diverse as anthropology, social work, women studies, film studies, indigenous studies, psychology, history, sociology, and ethnic studies. Smith is the Fanon of the indigenous world, and the contemporary academic cannot afford to miss her work.
The chapters are absorbing and surprisingly straight-forward for theory, and can be read separately or in sequence. The work is accessible enough for undergraduate students, but rich enough to serve as a valuable addition to the graduate student's bookshelf.
She reaches both Native and non-Native audiences, and concludes her work with indiginizing projects that detail real alternatives to current practices. An investment you will not regret!
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By A Customer on April 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Linda Tuhiwai Smith captures the essence of the space that is between 'a rock and a hard place' for Maori who engage in research within the academy and the frameworks of western theorisms. She clearly and articulately explores not only this position but also the pathways beyond it. As we engage in the business of contributing to still growing body's of indigenous ways of knowing and doing it is important that we critique our own relative positions as both indigenous and colonised peoples as powerful and purposeful. Linda has set the scene for fabulous things to happen.
I have already loaned this book to others and recommended that the others who want it buy it ! Better be quick - they are disappearing from the shelves as you read !!
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Format: Paperback
`Decolonizing Methodologies' is written by someone who grew up within indigenous communities, `where stories about research and researchers intertwined with stories about all forms of colonialism and injustice' (p. 2). This book contains ten chapters ; it, however, could be divided in two major parts. The first part challenges the history and legacy of the cultural assumptions behind research and knowledge of colonial culture. Tuhiwai Smith, in the first part of her book, adopts a feminist and critical theory framework to challenge Western paradigm of research and knowledge production. She claims that the term research is linked to European imperialism and western colonialism and `is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world's vocabulary' (p. 1). Referring to some prominent (and deconstructed) questions of Spivak (1990) , i.e. who should speak ... and who will listen? , the major critical and indigenous based questions that cover and direct the subject matter of the book are: Whose research is it? Who owns it? Whose interests does it serve? Who will benefit from it? Who has designed its questions and framed its scope? Who will carry it out? Who will write it up? How will its result be disseminated? (p. 9-10). Furthermore, The author Smith presents two fundamental questions in the first chapter of book; `is history important for indigenous peoples' (p. 29), `is writing important for indigenous peoples' (p. 35).

Tuhiwai Smith's work draws from a number of renowned figures in critical tradition and particularly in emancipatory theory. Foucault, Said, Freire, Marx, and Thiong have had a greater influence on Tuhiwai Smith's work and her `emancipatory goals'.
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