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The challenge of urban Maori: reconciling conceptions of indigeneity and social change.

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Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 39(303), 314

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Barcham addresses the complex issue of urban Māori identity and its relationship with traditional indigenous concepts in the context of contemporary social change.

This paper explores how urbanisation and modern societal shifts have influenced Māori communities. The article delves into the challenges that urban Māori face in reconciling their indigenous identity with the realities of modern urban life. Urbanisation, it argues, has led to changes in some social institutions. These new institutions, however, have faced challenges integrating with traditional Māori cultural practices. Disputes over Treaty settlement assets, Barcham explains, have highlighted this tension, illustrating the struggle between evolving urban Māori societal norms and the traditional aspects of indigenous culture as represented by modern iwi. Māori today, it concludes, are not closely tied to traditional iwi structures, creating a need for social structures that reflect current realities. Urban Māori Authorities are proposed as entities that complement, rather than replace, iwi and their tribal organisations. Barcham argues adapting indigenous institutions to modern social changes is both necessary and viable, affirming the authenticity of new indigenous social structures alongside traditional ones.

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