Crafting the normative subject: queerying the politics of race in the New Zealand Health education classroom

Kathleen Anne Quinlivan, Mary Louise Rasmussen, Clive Aspin, Louisa Elizabeth Allen, Fida Sanjakdar

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explores the potential of queering as a mode of critique by problematising the ways in which liberal politics of race shape normative understandings of health in a high school classroom. Drawing on findings from an Australian and New Zealand (NZ) research project designed to respond to religious and cultural difference in school-based sexuality education programmes, we critically queer how the Maori concept of hauora is deployed in the intended and operational NZ Health curriculum to shape the raced subject. Despite the best intentions of curriculum developers and classroom teachers to utilise Maori ways of knowing to meet their obligations within a bicultural nation, we argue that the notion of hauora is domesticated by being aligned with normalising individualistic notions of well-being that reflect the Eurocentric neoliberal individual enterprise subject. Palatable notions of Maori epistemologies as cultural artefacts and iconography drive that `inclusion?. The `cunning politic? of (bicultural) recognition legitimates Maori ways of knowing in ways which privilege whiteness ? reproducing rather than disrupting networks of power and dumbing down Maori epistemologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393 - 404
    Number of pages12
    JournalDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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