Accepted paper:

Governing the senses: how New Zealand's biculturalism works through the practice of a Māori healing tradition

Authors:

Tony O'Connor (Auckland District Health Board)

Paper short abstract:

New Zealand’s biculturalism shapes some of the notions about and the uses of the human body adopted by a group of healers that practice the Te Oo Mai Reia tradition of Māori healing. I show how this group of healers take account of the building and administration of New Zealand as a bicultural nation-state in the diagnosis and healing of illness. I then introduce perception, to show that bicultural government played out through not only the way healers and patients made sense of the body, but with the body, especially through how the practitioners saw, touched and felt.

Paper long abstract:

New Zealand's biculturalism shapes some of the notions about and the uses of the human body adopted by a group of healers that practice the Te Oo Mai Reia tradition of Māori healing. I show how this group of healers take account of the building and administration of New Zealand as a bicultural nation-state in the diagnosis and healing of illness. I then introduce perception, to show that bicultural government played out through not only the way healers and patients made sense of the body, but with the body, especially through how the practitioners saw, touched and felt. I draw on ethnographic data to demonstrate how the nation's government secures penetration into the citizenry by building upon pre-existing knowledge and relations of power, and how the practitioners uses of the body and the way they perceived the world is bear the effects of government.

panel P13
Senses and citizenships: contestations over national and global identities, resources, and forms of belonging