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Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1856496247
ISBN-10: 1856496244
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Editorial Reviews


"This book, which can be used in helping design and carry out research or in teaching research methods, will certainly play a role in remedying this clearly identified and sorely felt absence in the field of health research." -- Journal of Health Psychology

About the Author

Linda Tuhiwai Smith is an Associate Professor in Education and Director of the International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zed Books (March 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856496244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856496247
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,839 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 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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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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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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