This is a new website initiative from ANU Pacific Studies PhD students Bianca Hennessy (who I met in 2017 when she visited Va’aomanū Pasifika at Victoria University of Wellington as part of her doctoral research exploring Pacific Studies programmes around the region) and Mitiana Arbon. “The New Outrigger” is a space for “rigorous and academically informed dialogue, debate and conversation that brings together Pacific Islander and non-Islander scholars, activists, and artists. We want to explore the expansive transdisciplinary, Indigenous and Island(er)-centred, creative mode of studies that the Pacific inspires.” Well worth a look!
I am currently working on a research project that looks at the social impacts of Arohanui Strings, Porirua Soundscapes, and Virtuoso Strings. These groups provide free, Sistema-inspired orchestral music education programmes in low decile schools in Hutt Valley and Porirua. This project is funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.
El Sistema is a Venezuelan music and social development initiative that began in 1975 and is today one of the world’s largest and most famous orchestral music education programmes. Sistema-inspired programmes operate in over 60 countries worldwide, including Aotearoa New Zealand, providing musical and social opportunities to underprivileged children with the aim of transforming their lives, their families’ lives, and their wider communities (Booth & Turnstall 2014, 2016; Sistema Global: Friends of El Sistema Worldwide 2015).
In the last decade, scholars have paid increasing attention to how Sistema-inspired programmes operate in different cultural contexts, reporting positive outcomes in musical and educational attainment, development of children’s personal and social skills (including discipline, positive attitudes towards school, and raised aspirations) and family engagement (Creech et al 2016; Osborne et al 2015; Trinick & McNaughton 2013). Fewer studies have focused on the wider social development aims of Sistema-inspired programmes, however, such as community wellbeing and socioeconomic impacts (Allan 2010; Burns & Bewick 2015; Uy 2012), and a growing number of researchers are critiquing orchestral music education programmes for promoting middle-class Western ideologies and for unintentionally reproducing rather than challenging structural inequalities (e.g., Baker 2014; Bull 2016). This is where my project comes in. I want to look beyond educational achievement to learn more about the social effects that Arohanui Strings, Virtuoso Strings, and Porirua Soundscapes have on the young people who participate in music classes, as well as their families and their wider communities. My aim is to understand how these groups transform young people’s lives through music.
I am using a range of ethnographic methods in this project, including interviews, participant-observation (attending rehearsals, concerts, holiday programmes, and other events), photography, and participatory video. This involves inviting some of the young people involved in these organisations to use video cameras to document their experiences, and collaborate with me on making a short ethnographic film – for example, by working with me to decide what should be in the film, shooting footage for it, and advising me during the editing process.
As well as making an ethnographic film showing how young people experience the relationship between music and social change, I will produce reports for Arohanui Strings, Virtuoso Strings, and Porirua Soundscapes. I will write academic journal articles and book chapters, and give a public talk at the end of the project (early 2020), and will upload published material here to this blog.
This research has been approved by the Victoria University of Wellington Human Ethics Committee, application reference 24293. If you have any questions about it, or are interested in becoming involved, please contact me.
Allan, J. 2010. Arts and the inclusive imagination: Socially engaged arts practices and Sistema Scotland. Journal of Social Inclusion, 1(2): 111-122.
Baker, G. 2014. El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s youth. New York: Oxford University Press.
Booth, E., & Tunstall, T. 2014. Five encounters with “El Sistema” International: A Venezuelan marvel becomes a global movement. Teaching Artist Journal, 12(2): 69-81.
Booth, E., & Tunstall, T. 2016. Playing for Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change Through Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Bull, A. 2016. El Sistema as a bourgeois social project: Class, gender, and Victorian values. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 15(1), 120-53.
Burns, S., & Bewick, P. 2015. In Harmony Liverpool Year 5 Evaluation: Health and Well- Being Report. https://issuu.com/liverpoolphilharmonic/docs/in_harmony_liverpool_year_5_evaluat
Creech, A., Gonzales-Moreno, P., Lorenzino, L., Waitman, G., Bates, L., Swan, A., de Jesus Carillo Mendez, R., Hernandes, D.N.C., & Gonzales, P. C. 2016. El Sistema and Sistema-inspired programmes: A literature review of research, evaluation, and critical debates (2nd ed.). San Diego, California: Sistema Global.
Osborne, M. S., McPherson, G. E., Faulkner, R., Davidson, J. W., & Barrett, M. S. 2015. Exploring the academic and psychosocial impact of El Sistema-inspired music programs within two low socio-economic schools. Music Education Research, 18(2), 156-175.
Trinick, Robyn and Stuart McNaughton. 2013. Independent evaluation of the music learning outcomes in the Sistema Aotearoa Programme. Report prepared for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Faculty of Education, the University of Auckland.
Uy, M. S. 2012. Venezuela’s national music education program El Sistema: Its interactions with society and its participants’ engagement in praxis. Music and Arts in Action, 4(1): 5-2.
Thanks to some amazing role models in the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, where I studied, I have always known that it is possible (although not easy) to be a parent/grandparent and an academic. What I wasn’t quite so sure about was how, exactly, you went about doing ethnographic fieldwork with kids in tow. As an undergraduate student I read ethnographies written by anthropologists who had their families with them while conducting fieldwork – including Philippe Bourgois’ In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio, Nancy Scheper-Hughes’ Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil, Annette Weiner’s The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea, and Margaret Trawick’s Notes on Love in a Tamil Family – but I don’t recall many classroom discussions about the relationship between carework and fieldwork. This changed once I started my PhD. A number of my fellow PhD researchers juggled mothering and grandparenting with fieldwork, and have since written about how their experiences influenced their research (e.g., Lesley Reed’s thesis ‘What is this thing called Grandparenting? The social, economic and political influences on the role in New Zealand‘, or see the list Kelly Dombroski has here on her blog). My first glimpse into what it was like to actually do fieldwork with your child present was during a research trip to Kolkata, India, in late 2005.
I have just found this amazing resource/blog – highly recommend checking it out if you are interested in Oceania.
These docs are under the History of the Pre-Colonial Pacific subfolder
Readings that are bold are my personal favorites. Happy reading!!
- New England Missionary Wives, Hawaiian Women and ‘The Cult of True Womanhood” by Patricia Grimshaw
- The Postmodern Legacy of a Premodern Warrior Goddess in Modern Samoa by Malama Meleisea
- Tuku Whenua and Land Sale in New Zealand in the Nineteenth Century by Margaret Mutu
- Aupuni (From Dismembering Lahui: A History of the Hawaiian Monarchy to 1887) by Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwo’ole Osorio
- Scholarship from a Lazy Native by Teresia K. Teaiwa
- Tatauing the Post-Colonial Body by Albert Wendt
- Possessing Tahiti by Greg Dening
- The Past Before Us by Nehe Dewes
- Simply Chamorro: Telling Tales of Demise and Survival in Guam by Vicente M. Diaz
- The Other One-Third of the Globe by Ben Finney
- Beyond “the English Method of Tattooing”: Decentering the Practice of History in…
View original post 68 more words
Roundup of medical anthropology research in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Welcome to our first SOMAA research roundup. Here you’ll find brief summaries and links to recent publications by SOMAA members covering such topics as housing and wellbeing, mental health in the Pacific, transcultural approaches to bioethics, and the taken-for-granted assumptions of bipolar disorder treatment. Happy reading!
An important new study about housing and wellbeing in New Zealand by Kathryn Scott (U or Auckland), Julie Park (U or Auckland) and Patricia Laing (VUW), arguing that considering the changing ecology of housing over time for families and individuals —housing pathways — is fundamental to understanding housing issues.
By Barbara Andersen (Massey Albany), this article reveals how nursing education in PNG socializes nurses to take stances toward language and communication that impact their care practices. In a resource-poor setting where health workers risk blame for structural inequalities, this…
View original post 512 more words
Sorry to miss what looks like a great symposium and launch of the new Society of Medical Anthropology in Aotearoa.
By Nayantara Sheoran Appleton.
On Wednesday February 15th, just over 30 medical anthropologists from across New Zealand attended the launch of the Society of Medical Anthropology of Aotearoa (SOMAA). The launch was marked by a daylong symposium with 13 presentations and a keynote address by Dr. Marcia Inhorn who is the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University. SOMAA “is a national collective for medical anthropologists working in or on Aotearoa.” It will serve as intellectual space aimed at brining medical anthropologists together to discuss developments in medical spaces, health policy, and support each other through regular interactions. The launch and symposium made evident that there was great excitement about collective work and the intellectual developments in the field.
The day opened with a short introduction by Dr. Catherine Trundle and Associate Professor Susanna Trnka, the secretary and president of SOMAA respectively…
View original post 549 more words
In our previous blog post, Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich noted that her resolution for 2017 is to read six ethnographies. Inspired by this and all the different ethnographies we in the Cultural Anthropology Programme at Victoria University of Wellington are reading, we have started an ethnography book club on GoodReads. The goal is to read and discuss an ethnography every two months. If any of you are interested in ethnography (students, anthropologists, writers), we invite you to join us!
The plan is for Cultural Anthropology staff to select an ethnography, and the group to read it over the two-month period, meeting to discuss it during the last week of the second month at VUW. We’ll post some questions to get started in thinking about the book, and where possible we’ll also invite the authors to join us in our online conversations.
View original post 142 more words