MAOR230-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Ethnicity and History

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


This course provides a critical introduction to the historical and anthropological study of ethnicity, race and migration, with a particular emphasis on New Zealand.

MAOR230 is a multidisciplinary paper alongside  ANTH223/HIST283/PACS204/SOCI223 provides a critical introduction to the historical and anthropological study of ethnicity, race, nationalism, genocide, indigeneity, migration, assimilation, identity and the nation-state. The first part of the course draws on material from North America, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to find ways in which we might analyse these ideas or themes in different times and places. We examine some of the main theoretical approaches to ethnicity and carry out a structured controversy exercise that allows us to apply these frameworks to a particular problem. We then extend the course themes in a 'hands-on' way through local case studies that bring together 'the field and the archive'.

Why do we define groups of people and what purpose does it serve? Ethnicity raises a multitude of questions:
• With systemic grounding in one’s own life, can you ever really see anything from another cultures view, how is an ethnic lens appropriate when studying ethnicities?
• Why do the ways we describe groups of people change over history and at different locations?
• Racism is a common claim and accusation however what is race as a concept, why is it not used anymore and when and why did it stop?
• Genocide is a recognised taboo, a concept challenging to the emotions of most societies. If Genocide is so taboo, then why have there been so few prosecutions in international court? What can be defined as genocide and where is the definition being stretched?
• With the increasing globalising of the world and media New Zealand is no longer so isolated to the international community. Others cultural practises often seem odd, and sometimes just offensive! What are some of these practices and why might they seem so confronting?

Some themes in this course are
• Ethnicity and its history
• Race, Ethnicity, indigeneity and identity
• Migration, Assimilation and the Nation State.
• Genocide
• Nationalism

Course Goal
• Challenge taken-for-granted assumptions about ethnicity and to explore ways that we might understand, explain and compare ethnic phenomena in the past and in the contemporary world.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes
Students will

  • Consider the value of ethnicity as a conceptual tool for the study of everyday life
  • Critically evaluate different anthropological approaches to ethnicity and nationalism
  • Complete a research essay that applies frameworks developed in the course to the study of ethnicity in a specific historical context
  • Reflect on course texts and learning experiences in a personal journal  
  • Contribute effectively in group and cooperative work
  • Develop an appreciation for anthropology’s historical imagination

    Why this Paper?
    Understanding ethnicity is about understanding the world, pathways are therefore wide:
  • Policy analyst in Māori and Government organisations
  • Community development roles especially within Māori and Iwi sectors
  • Professional social services, education, and health sector roles that interface with Iwi and Māori organisations.
  • Multiple opportunities in further Māori and Indigenous Research
  • Police
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • HR

    Transferrable Skills:
    This course contributes to the development of the following transferable skills
  • Academic writing
  • Cultural awareness
  • Analysing
  • Compare and contrast
  • Critical Reading
  • Team work
  • Methodology
  • Ethnic lens
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Any 15 points in 100 level course in MAOR or TREO, or 30 points in 100 level courses in Arts, Education, Fine Arts, Music and Social Work, or by permission of the Head of School.


ANTH223, HIST283, PACS204, SOCI223, SOCI323

Equivalent Courses

ANTH223, HIST283, PACS204, SOCI223

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 11:00 Ernest Rutherford 465 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 16:00 - 17:00 Ernest Rutherford 260 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 Karl Popper 612 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
03 Friday 12:00 - 13:00 A7 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator

Lyndon Fraser


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Structured Controversy Exercise 20%
Research essay 40%
Learning Journal 40%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Aotahi School of Maori and Indigenous Studies.

All MAOR230 Occurrences

  • MAOR230-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018