Ethics in place: A reflection on indigenous insider/outsider and liminal positionality — ASN Events

Ethics in place: A reflection on indigenous insider/outsider and liminal positionality (17153)

Sandi Ringham 1
  1. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

As research in academia moves away from being a solely western construct indigenous people across the world are in the midst of (re)claiming their voices and narratives. Indigenous led research in academia strives to validate their diverse and often multiple cultural contexts by negotiating and navigating the moral, cultural, traditional and current spaces of both Western and Indigenous institutions. Ethics are a set of principles prescribed by an institution that guides a researchers access, accountability and research practises. It seems that by acknowledging one's own indigeneity in research we are meet at the door of ethical approval with the complexities of working within two worlds which, at times, seem to be mutually exclusive. For many researchers who exist in culturally and ethnically liminal spaces uncertainty and loss of cultural knowledge can be experienced as a set of challenges that requires the researcher to reflect on their personal and collective identity. In Melinda Webber's paper 'The multiple selves and realities of a Maori researcher' (2009) she states: 'there is an urgent need for further cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary dialogue where multiple ways of knowing and being are emphasised' and she highlights the need for research institutions consider the 'ever-changing' nature of cultural ecology (Webber 2009). In this paper I reflect on my positionality in my research on Maori values in tourism as an insider/outsider and how I, at times, identify my positionality as liminal but evolving process. By unpacking my multiple positionalities I hope to highlight the need for the processes involved in gaining institution-based approval to look beyond research frameworks that are capable of essentialising cultural contexts as static and encourage a move towards recognising the diverse and multiple complexities involved in placing ethics in research.