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ERIC Number: EJ855589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-1750-8487
"Rude Speech" and "Ignorant Audience": Power of Ignorance and Language Politics at an Aotearoa/New Zealand School
Doerr, Neriko Musha
Critical Studies in Education, v50 n3 p323-335 Oct 2009
In studies of minority language education, researchers tend to base their arguments on the assumption that knowledge empowers and ignorance disempowers. In this article, however, I show two alternative dynamics of knowledge and relations of dominance by drawing on my ethnographic fieldwork at a secondary school in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1997-8. First, by analyzing the ways some Pakeha (white) parents complained about Maori speeches at school by saying "not everyone understands it", I argue that relations of dominance can create the legitimacy even in ignorance and work to marginalize an already repressed minority language. Second, by showing how other Pakeha accepted the speeches even though they did not understand them, I argue that an acknowledgment of ignorance can be an act of embracing the unknowable cultural others by abandoning a sense of entitlement to know. From these observations, this paper suggests a reformulation of the understanding of the relationship between knowledge and power and calls for investigating various contours of ignorance situated in specific relations of dominance. (Contains 8 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand