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Co-creating Visual Theories of Change with Treaty and Decolonisation Activists

  • Ingrid L. M. Huygens
Chapter

Abstract

An alternative use of ethnographic methods is to investigate new, aspirational constructions of the social world developed within counter-hegemonic social movements. Sociologists Eyerman and Jamison (1991) consider that to understand social movements “in their own terms…[is] an important, even crucial task for social theory”. The local movement of activist Treaty workers share a 30 year history, alongside Maori activists, of challenging and educating Pakeha to revisit and honour the Treaty of Waitangi. As a Pakeha Treaty educator, I positioned myself as an ‘insider researcher’ able to use methods of recording and researching that followed the ethics and protocols of our movement. Our commitment to developing knowledge collectively led to an innovative method whereby groups created visual ‘theories’ of Pakeha change, and then shared these successively with other groups of Treaty educators around the country, and eventually at a national gathering. We thereby followed action principles used in community psychology and radical adult education to create valuable practical resources (imagery, books and videos) for ongoing work. We also affirmed common praxis, settled differences, and learnt new skills to sustain ourselves and each other, aspects vital to all minority ‘cultural work’. In this chapter, I will display and discuss this process of cumulative ‘visual theorising’ as an ethnographic method suitable for exploring and strengthening collective knowledges that are suppressed or marginalised in dominant culture.

Keywords

Social Movement Visual Imagery National Meeting Ethnographic Method Educational Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonAotearoa, New Zealand

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