Tackling Māori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport
Hokowhitu, Brendan (2004) Tackling Māori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport. The Contemporary Pacific, 16 (2). pp. 259-284.
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The primary aim of this paper, then, is to deconstruct one of the dominant discourses surrounding Mäori men—a discourse that was constructed to limit, homogenize, and reproduce an acceptable and imagined Mäori masculinity, and that has also gained hegemonic consent from many täne. I outline and focus on those historical racist notions of Mäori masculine physicality that have developed into a contemporary portrayal— the natural Mäori sportsman. To problematize this construction it is necessary to examine the racially based traits, such as physicality, imposed on täne in the precolonial and early colonial periods, and the role New Zealand State education has played in perpetuating this construction. I describe sport as a site of “positive” racism that acts as a contemporary conduit to channel täne into the physical realm.
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