CARE Event: Precarious Academic Work (PAWS) Report Launch “THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM”

CARE Event: Precarious Academic Work (PAWS) Report Launch

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Precarious work in New Zealand’s universities with Chlöe Swarbrick, Dr. Sereana Naepi & Prof. Mohan Dutta

WEDNESDAY 6th JULY 2022 at 7.00 PM NZST

LIVE ON CARE channels:
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/live_videos/

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF760E7rBst3U5GmJ5FhDDw

RSVP on Facebook Event page : https://www.facebook.com/events/580830703389598

CARE Event: Precarious Academic Work (PAWS) Report Launch

Download the report here: https://figshare.com/…/Elephant_In_The_Room…/19243626

WEDNESDAY 6th JULY 2022 at 7.00 PM NZST

LIVE ON CARE channels:

Facebook livestream link- https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/373339864788693

YouTube livestream link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wEYtJ88NHI

Event Description:

The Tertiary Education Action Group Aotearoa @TEAGAUnion will be presenting some of the data from the Precarious Academic Work Report (PAWS) report and then hosting a short panel discussion. Precarious working arrangements are a complex, often hidden feature of academia in Aotearoa New Zealand. The report highlights that in Aotearoa we have a highly trained academic workforce who are engaged in long-term cycles of precarity, with resultant impacts on financial security, health and wellbeing. The report also adds further evidence of inequities present in the academic pipeline, with the system discouraging Māori and Pasifika academic careers, while relying on the exploitation of international student labour.

Presenting the findings of the report are:

Luke D. Oldfield

Rituparna Roy

Aimee B. Simpson

Apriel D. Jolliffe Simpson,

& Leon Salter

About our panelists:

Chlöe Swarbrick

Green Party MP for Auckland Central. Chlöe works tirelessly for bold, transformational action on the issues for which she is the Green Party spokesperson, including young people, mental health and tertiary education.

Dr. Sereana Naepi

Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of Auckland. A Pasifika woman of Fijian and Pakeha descent, Sereana works to help other Pasifika people not only succeed but also lead purposeful, meaningful and significant lives.

Prof. Mohan Dutta

Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), Massey University developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right.

#Aotearoa #NewZealand #PrecariousWork #academic #precarity #NewZealandUniversities #MasseyUni #CAREMassey #CARECCA #CAREMasseyNZ

ICA Health Communication Division’s Conversation Series: “Conversation with HC ICA Fellows

Join Massey University’s Prof. Mohan Dutta along with guest HC ICA fellows and speakers Rimal N. Rimal, Gary L. Kreps and May Lwin for this second online zoom session-ICA Health Communication Division’s Conversation Series: “Conversation with HC ICA Fellows” Monday, April 25, 2022 9pm to 10:30pm EST


The #ICA #HealthCommunication Division will be sponsoring a pilot “Conversation Series” for early career scholars in the months of March and April prior to this year’s ICA conference.


The planning committee, composed of Iccha Basnyat, Nadine Bol, Edmund Lee Wie Jian and Hsuan Yuan Huang, would like to cordially invite you to join our second online zoom session on Career Advice for Early Career Scholars.


Registration- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pf3Ty2DKd-EBc1h_1M7ohWHqblIMjHWGQBxpgUpnkPc/

#ICA #HealthCommunicationDivision #ConversationSeries #MasseyUni #CAREMassey #CARECCA

CARE White Paper Launch – Hindutva, digital networks of hate, and implications for democracy: A critical analysis of responses to the Chief Censor’s Review of The Kashmir Files in Aotearoa

with Prof. Mohan Dutta and New Zzealand activist Anjum Rahman

Join us LIVE for the White Paper Launch with Prof. Mohan Dutta and NZ activist Anjum Rahman on Hindutva, digital networks of hate, and implications for democracy: A critical analysis of responses to the Chief Censor’s Review of The Kashmir Files in Aotearoa

Friday 25th March 2022 @ 11.30 am NZDT

Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/368615111797393

CARE Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1583656381990700/

#Hindutva #DigitalNetworks #hate #democracy #KashmirFiles #Aotearoa #NewZealand

CARE WHITE PAPER: Solidarity in anti-racist struggles: A culture-centered intervention

ISSUE 5. (AUGUST 2019)

Solidarity in anti-racist struggles: A culture-centered intervention

by Teanau Tuiono and Mohan J. Dutta

In this white paper, we depict
solidarity as the organizing concept
for addressing racism in Aotearoa,
New Zealand. After defining the
concept of solidarity, we address the
questions: Why do we need solidarity
in activist and advocacy interventions
seeking to address racism? What does solidarity look like in struggles
against racism? We wrap up the
white paper with key elements drawn
from our dialogue, foregrounding
“seeing connections” as a way for
bringing together anti-racist, anticapitalist, and decolonial struggles.
Seeing Whiteness as the very basis for the production of various forms of
marginalization sets up the
groundwork for anti-racist struggles.

CARE OP-ED: THE COMMUNICATIVE STRATEGIES OF HINDUTVA

by Prof. Mohan Dutta, Massey University

Professor Mohan Dutta, director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University.

Hindutva, a political ideology that seeks to construct India in the structure of a Hindu nation (Hindu Rashtra), draws its conceptual tenets from the organising framework of fascism. As a modern project, Hindutva is rooted in the desire to create a Hindu nation that is organised on the principles of the European nation-state through cultural hegemony that homogenises the population, simultaneously erasing the rights of religious minorities.

The fascist root of Hindutva is evident in the writings of one of the key architects of the concept, MS Golwalkar, who writes: “German race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races – the Jews … a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”

Note here the deep interplays of the ideology of Hindutva and white supremacy. The purity of race and culture that forms the hate structure of white supremacy is mobilised in the political formation of Hindutva. Hindutva embodies the colonial imposition of a politics of purity through the purge of the ‘other’ organised by the state.

One of the key architects of Hindutva, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, wrote the book Hindutva in 1923, outlining the concepts of a common nation (rashtra), a common race (jati) and a common culture or civilisation (sanskriti). Note the parallels here with the ideology of the German Nazi party, anchored in ein volk(one people), ein reich (one nation), ein Fuhrer (one leader).

At the heart of this ideology is the production of the ‘other’ that is outside of the nation. Similar to the construction of Jews as the outside of ein volk in Nazi ideology, Muslims and Christians are constructed as the outside of the Hindu rashtra in the ideological construction of Hindutva.

The effects of this ideology are evident in the hate and violence that have been directed at Muslims. The ongoing political project of disenfranchising Muslims through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a reminder of the Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi Germany to strip German Jews of their citizenship.

The communicative infrastructure of Hindutva is deployed through the articulation of a monolithic ‘Hinduness’ as the basis for organising the political project. To belong, one has to declare their ‘Hinduness’ and allegiance to the Hindu Rashtra, as defined by the political project of Hindutva.

To dissent from this monolithic vision of Hindutva is to be anti-Hindu. Within the organising structures of India, to dissent against the ideology of Hindutva is to be anti-Indian. The political project of Hindutva threatens the pluralism, polymorphism, and democratic ethos of Hinduism.

The celebrated Indian film-maker Anand Patwardhan, observed at the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference, “If Hindutva is Hinduism, then the Ku Klux Klan is Christianity.”

The recent attacks on me, the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), Massey University, and on academics globally writing on and debating about the pernicious effects of Hindutva, are reflective of the hegemonic communicative infrastructure of Hindutva. At the heart of this hegemonic infrastructure is the silencing of dissent while imposing a monolithic ideology. In this instance, Hindutva proclaims to speak for all Hindus as it carries out this fundamental attack on academic freedom.

From trolls reproducing digital hate, to hateful propaganda published in diaspora digital portals, to letter writing campaigns targeting the university, to petitions attacking the university for steadfastly supporting academic freedom, forces of Hindutva draw on a wide range of strategies. Hindutva deploys bullying and rhetorical fallacies to silence dissent because it lacks the tools of argumentation to appeal to reason.

Referring to these forces of Hindutva at work to silence academic freedom in the form of the organised attacks on the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference, Professor Gyan Prakash, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University, observes: “The extraordinary thing about the conference was the massive disinformation campaign by those seeking to prevent the academic scrutiny of Hindutva. The campaign launched against this conference was concerted, comprehensive, and entirely without scruples. As has been covered in the Guardian and Al Jazeera, many participants received threats, including death threats. We know that, as a co-sponsoring institution, you also faced overwhelming pressure to pull out from this conference. The threats include nearly every threat to academic freedom listed on the AAUP’s (American Association of University Professors) website.”

Of particular concern in western democracies are the threads of foreign influence and interference into academic freedom and the fabric of pluralism.

In western democracies, Hindutva seeks to silence criticism by communicatively inverting the violence perpetuated by the political ideology of Hindutva, while simultaneously playing to the ethos of superficial western multiculturalism. It projects a narrative of fragility, constructing references to Hinduphobia, in seeking to assert its cultural hegemony in the diaspora, while simultaneously silencing dissent and articulations of social justice. Hindutva actively erases the voices of adivasis (indigenous people), oppressed caste communities, women experiencing gender violence, gender diverse communities, and minority communities in seeking to establish the hegemony of its monolithic values.

In our work at CARE that seeks to co-create spaces for the voices of the ‘margins of the margins’ to be heard, we will continue to pursue our justice-based scholarship in spite of the organised forces of hate seeking to silence these voices by policing the term Hindutva. We are empowered in this work by the steadfast support of the leadership of Massey University in safeguarding our academic freedom, and in the protections offered by the Education Act 1989.

Related articles

Professor Mohan J. Dutta recognised as Distinguished Scholar


Professor Mohan Dutta named ICA Fellow

Article Source: Massey University News


© 2021, Center for Culture-Centered Approach for Research & Evaluation (CARE). All rights reserved.

CARE #EndTheHate Lecture Series: Critically interrogating the Hinduphobia narrative with Prof. Mohan Dutta

Date: Wednesday 25th August 2021 Time: 8 pm NZST
Venue- Facebook broadcast on : https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey

Lecture Title: Lecture Series: Critically interrogating the Hinduphobia narrative with Prof. Mohan Dutta

Lecture Abstract:
In this lecture, Professor Mohan Dutta will draw on his work on anti-racist interventions to critically interrogate the language of Hinduphobia and the ways in which it is deployed in liberal democracies to silence critiques of the infrastructures of hate being deployed in India and globally.We look forward to seeing our colleagues and collaborators, at this #CARETalk as part of our “End the hate” series.

Follow us for more updates on: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey

#EndTheHate #AntiRacistInterventions #Hinduphobia #India #CARELectureSeries #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MasseyUniversity #MasseyCJM

CARE White Paper : A culture-centered approach to hate speech regulation

by Mohan J. Dutta, Pooja Jayan, Md Mahbubur Rahman, Christine Elers, Francine Whittfield , CARE Massey University

We begin this response by noting that laws against incitement of hate are necessary in extreme situations. However, a culture-centered analysis suggests that laws against incitement are not effective in transforming cultures of intolerance and hate that are held up by powerful political and economic interests[1]. Those in places of power deploy hate to serve their political and economic gains. Simultaneously, we note that powerful political and economic interests use hate speech laws to silence dissent and erase articulations from the margins. As anti-racist academics and activists, collaborating with social justice activists, we have experienced and witnessed the silencing processes through manipulation of legal frameworks around hate speech. Our activist collaborators have been harassed and persecuted by authoritarian states under the guise of promoting racial and/or religious harmony[2]. It is vital to critically interrogate the individualization of hate in laws against incitement. Instead, structural transformations are needed in the form of policies that are explicitly anti-discriminatory, guarantee and support equality of vulnerable communities, and protect the fundamental human rights of vulnerable groups[3]. We propose a culture-centered policy framework to addressing hate speech that tackles the political economy of hate and builds communicative infrastructures for the voices of communities at the “margins of the margins.”[4]


[1] Saylor, C. (2014). The US Islamophobia network: Its funding and impact. Islamophobia Studies Journal2(1), 99-118; Bukar, A. A. (2020). The Political Economy of Hate Industry: Islamophobia in the Western Public Sphere. Islamophobia Studies Journal5(2), 152-174; Campbell, K. G. (2004). Freedom of speech, imagination, and political dissent: Culturally centering the free speech principle. University of Denver.

[2] Thanapal, S., & Dutta, M. J., (2019). Dismantling racism in Singapore: Resisting authoritarian repression. Interview. Palmerston North: Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE); Thanapal, S. (2020). The neo-colonized entity: Examining the ongoing significance of colonialism on free speech in Singapore. First Amendment Studies54(2), 225-235.

[3] George, C. (2016). Hate spin: The manufacture of religious offense and its threat to democracy. MIT Press.

[4] Dutta, M. J., Elers, C., & Jayan, P. (2020). Culture-centered processes of community organizing in COVID19 response: Notes from Kerala and Aotearoa New Zealand. Frontiers in Communication5, 62.

Dutta, M. J., Jayan, P., Rahman, M. M., & Elers, C. (2021, August). A culture-centered approach to hate speech regulation. CARE White Papers, 12. https://carecca.nz/2021/08/17/care-white-paper-issue-12-august-2021-a-culture-centered-approach-to-hate-speech-regulation/

CARE Talk on ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM’ with Prof Mohan Dutta & Dr. Leon Salter, Massey University

CARE Talk on ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM’ with Prof Mohan Dutta & Dr. Leon Salter, Massey University Tuesday 27th July 2021 @ 10 AM Venue: CARE Lab BSC 1.06, Manawatu campus, Massey University.

Tuesday 27th July 2021 @ 10 AM

Venue: CARE Lab BSC 1.06, Manawatu campus, Massey University.

Facebook Livestream: CARE Talk: Social Justice and Academic Freedom with Prof Mohan Dutta & Dr. Leon Salter

Talk Abstract:

Social Justice and Academic Freedom

The Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) has been conducting a global study on social justice and academic freedom. In its second year, the study foregrounds voices of academics doing social justice work and negotiating the threats to academic freedom. In this talk, Professor Mohan Dutta will outline the key structural threats to academic freedom in the context of social justice scholarship. The talk will draw upon case studies emergent from the work of CARE.

#CARECCA #CARETalk #SocialJustice #AcademicFreedom #MasseyUni #MasseyCJM

CARE Researcher Dr. Leon Salter attended the FIRST Union report launch on gig work in Aotearoa at New Zealand Parliament

Dr. Leon Salter, Massey University‘s academic staff and CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation researcher on #CAREMassey‘s project-“Experiences with Covid-19 Among Gig Workers” attended the FIRST Union report launch at #NZParliament earlier today.

Minister Michael Wood being handed FIRST Union’s excellent gig worker report this morning at Parliament.

Read the press release with a link to the report here https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2107/S00211/uber-drivers-to-file-in-employment-court-as-new-gig-economy-report-launched.htm

Image Courtesy: Dr. Leon Salter & FIRST Union

#GigWorkers #NewZealand #Aotearoa #FIRSTUnion

CARE is excited to welcome back Dr. Asha Rathina Pandi as a Research Fellow

We are excited to welcome back Dr. Asha Rathina Pandi as a Research Fellow at the Center. At CARE, she will lead the Labour and Race in Asia Project, with her research focusing on the health of Plantation and Migrant workers in Malaysia.

Previously, she held teaching and research positions at the Department of Communications and New Media, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), and Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Asha received her PhD (2011) and M.A. in Sociology (2005) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), USA. She also holds a M.Sc. (2000) and Bachelor’s degrees in Urban Planning (1996) from University Technology of Malaysia, and a Graduate Certificate in Global Health and Population Studies from UHM (2012).An academic-activist, Asha has 18 years of experience in higher education. Her teaching and research interests are in social change and justice, health communication, community engagement, mixed methods and marginalized populations. She has published in journals of International Development Planning, Journalism, Development Studies, Frontiers in Communication, among others. At the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore, she led and taught the Communication for Social Change course that created a register for pedagogy of structural transformation for students.

We look forward to the transformative openings that Dr. Pandi will build in her work at CARE!

CARE News: Prof. Mohan Dutta serves on the World Health Organization (WHO) expert group on Culture & Health.

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation is proud to share news that for the last five years, Prof. Mohan Dutta has served on the World Health Organization (WHO) expert group on #Culture & #Health.

The outcome of this collective work/report is titled, “Beyond bias: exploring the cultural contexts of health and well-being measurement”.

Abstract: This first expert group meeting on the cultural contexts of health and well-being was convened by the WHO Regional Office for Europe on 15–16 January 2015. As part of the adoption of Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being, WHO Member States agreed to a measurement framework, which would measure and report on objective and subjective well-being. However, practical challenges remain, particularly with respect to the influence of cultural factors on well-being and well-being measurement. The aim of this meeting was to provide advice on how to consider the impact of culture on health and well-being, and how to communicate findings from well-being data across such a culturally diverse region as Europe. This report outlines the detailed recommendations made by the expert group in relation to each of these objectives.

Read the report here: https://www.euro.who.int/…/Cultural-contexts-health.pdf

#CAREMassey#CAREMasseyNZ#CARECCA#MasseyUni#worldhealthorganisation#WHO#CulturalContextsOfHealth

CARE congratulates Dr. Leon Salter, Massey University on being awarded the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship

Kia ora koutou, we hope everyone around you and your loved ones are keeping safe during these challenging times.

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation would like to congratulate Dr. Leon Salter, Tutor @Massey University on being the recipient of the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi in #NewZealand.

Dr. Leon Salter @ Massey University’s Graduation Ceremony

Dr. Leon’s project is titled. “Examining the effects of the expansion of gig work on health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic economy.”It uses the culture-centered approach (CCA) to create a framework for worker organizing in the gig economy. Dr. Leon will be housed at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation in doing this work.

The social impact of this work is in creating a framework for safeguarding worker rights through collaborations with unions and advocates, and is at the frontiers of the kinds of questions we ought to be grappling with in the context of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) economy.Congratulations again on this amazing acheivement.

Kia kaha!

#CARECCA #CCA #CAREMasseyNZ #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni #MBIE #ScienceWhitingaFellowship #PostPandemicEconomy #ArtificialIntelligence

Professor Dutta’s “tireless advocacy” recognised with Aubrey Fisher Mentorship award by International Communication Association

Professor Dutta’s “tireless advocacy” recognised with Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation congratulates Professor Mohan Dutta, Dean’s Chair in Communication from the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University on being named as the 2021 Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award winner by International Communication Association (@icahdq)

Professor Mohan Dutta

Professor Mohan J Dutta, from the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, has been named as the 2021 Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award winner.

The award, presented by the International Communications Association, was first initiated in 1988 and honors outstanding scholars, teachers and advisors who have had a major impact in the field of communication.

The Aubrey Fisher Award is the highest recognition for mentorship in the discipline of communication and most importantly, recipients of this award are recognised to have influenced their former students, who themselves are important figures working in the field of communication.

His nomination states, “the discipline is more inclusive today, to a large part because of Mohan’s tireless advocacy. Mohan’s courage in questioning consistently disciplinary #Whiteness is one of most powerful testimonies to his mentorship. This mentorship role extends much beyond us, his advisees, as he inspires students of colour across the discipline and works to make space for them.”

Professor Dutta says he is honoured to be recognised with the award. “This award for me is one of the most powerful recognitions of my lifetime of mentoring students, community organisers and activists”.

Professor Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centred, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right.

Related articles

Professor Mohan Dutta named ICA Fellow

Read the Article: https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm mnarticle_uuid=3A36444C-37C5-417F-A26B-09D024FA1B86

#InternationalCommunicationAssociation

#ICA2021 @ CARE

CARE has been awarded a grant from the International Communication Association (ICA) to host a regional hub for the 2021 ICA Conference. CARE is especially delighted as Theme Co-Chair of the 2021 ICA that we are able to host this hub in Aotearoa with the theme of “Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication,Connectedness, and Social Justice.”

The hub will be hosted as a face-to-face conference that complements the virtual conference, with spotlight sessions that are focused on work in Aotearoa. The conference will be hosted from May 27 to May 31, 2021.

The Hub will operate in a hybrid model, with face-to-face participation complementing virtual participation. It will feature two spotlight sessions per day for the five days of the conference that bring together participants around themes, and host face-to-face conversations around the virtual sessions. Participants will indicate their preferences for the sessions around which they would like to have face-to-face conversations. They will watch the virtual session together, followed by a discussion of the themes emergent from the session.

In addition, each spotlight session will be complemented with a complementary workshop held on May 26 and May 27, where participants will bring in their manuscripts accepted at ICA and rework them for publication. These workshops will be led by journal editors and editorial board members of leading journals of the discipline.

CARE ICA 2021 Pre Conference –
Hybrid Workshop – 26th – 27th May 2021
ICA21 Regional Hub in Aotearoa
@ CARE, Massey University
28th – 31st May 2021

The ICA Regional Hub at CARE will complement a one-day hybrid workshop on “Centering Care: Methodologies of the Global South.” The workshop will bring in scholars from across the global south in virtual sessions, working alongside face-to-face interactions, focusing on key methodological questions in scholarship of/from the Global South. Aligned with the conference theme, the workshop will center the essential work of care in organizing research and practice in universities. Sessions will connect with local organizers and activists in generating conversations on key questions of care work in the generation of decolonizing knowledge. Centering the principles of Kaupapa Māori, the workshop will explore the decolonizing work of care in culture-centered methods.

As a theme co-chair, Prof. Mohan Dutta will be hosting a closing plenary with academics and activists on the theme, “Empire and the global politics of care: Academic-activism, social justice, and Southern imaginaries.”

To be a part of the #ICA21 Regional Hub RSVP below or email your contact details to Breeze Mehta: b.s.mehta@massey.ac.nz

RSVP Here 

To be a part of the complementary Hybrid workshop : Centering Care: Methodologies of the Global South, RSVP below or email your contact details to Breeze Mehta: b.s.mehta@massey.ac.nz and we will be in touch with you.

RSVP Here

The collaborations between Whiteness and Brahminism: The ongoing erasure of the “margins of the margins”

Image Source: equalitylabs.org

The collaborations between Whiteness and Brahminism: The ongoing erasure of the “margins of the margins”

posted by Prof. Mohan J. Dutta on February 22, 2021

The racist politics of whiteness is convergent with the feudal politics of caste (Wilkerson, 2020). Both white supremacy and caste supremacy work through the erasure of the voices of the outcaste, even as the outcaste is turned into the object of interventions.

Brahminical privilege in the diaspora colludes with Whiteness in perpetuating caste oppression. 

Caste oppression, picked up and circulated into the networks of White Pākehā culture, find new modalities of perpetuating its violence.

In response to the work of the culture-centered approach (CCA) (Dutta, 2004), imagine this scenario, a White Pākehā person and a White Brahmin person having a conversation about the “margins of the margins,” a key concept of the CCA. 

The conversation goes somewhat like this.

White Pākehā (with a grimace, expressing disgust): And what even is that, “margins of the margins?”

White Brahmin (picking up the Pākehā grimace and perfecting it): Oh really, how disgusting it is! To talk about us migrants and put us in a box. To call us as the margins? 

 White Pākehā: What even is the margins of the margins? Who is that? 

White Brahmin: I know right? It is not acceptable sorry. I mean, I am myself a migrant. I live migrant identities. How can you call me margins?

White Pākehā: And who exactly are you centering in this talk?

White Brahmin: Remember, for you who is at the periphery is at the center for others. I don’t think of myself as the periphery.

White Pākehā: That’s mansplaining….

This snippet of a fictitious conversation depicts the whiteness of the violence of the erasure. Of course, this violence is performed without having done the readings although numerous readings and lessons have been shared with the White Pākehā. Necessary to the perpetuation of erasure of the margins is the deployment of “woke discourse” that serves the hegemonic positions of whiteness and brahminism. As a communicative inversion, “mansplaining” becomes the rhetorical tool for the White Pākehā and the White Brahmin to erase the margins, to deny its existence, and worse, to turn it into a caricature to serve Pākehā-Brahmin hegemony.

Lazy posturing is an integral strategy that holds up White privilege, and deploys primitive caste politics to bolster it, all under the pretext of progressivism or radicalism (mediated by the oh-so-feminist-sounding jingoism).

The Savarna Brahmin in the diaspora performing the model minority is integral to the erasure of the margins. That there exist material registers of marginalization is the anchor to transformative social change. The White Brahmin collaborator with the White Pākehā culture maintains the infrastructures of erasure by denying the existence of the margins. Even worse, the White Brahmin takes up the migrant position to deny the existence of the margins and her struggles, erasing the possibilities of listening to the voices of the outcastes in the diaspora who are also the objects of the Brahmin’s oppression in the homeland. Erased from the discursive registers are the predominantly caste-based gender violence perpetuated by Brahmins both in the homeland and in the diaspora. 

The Brahmin profits from this denial of marginalization, both at home and in the diaspora. Erased from the discursive registers are the everyday forms of gendered-raced violence perpetuated by the whiteness of settler colonialism.

That somehow the reference to margins is disenfranchising works to hold up the supremacy of both the Pākehā and the Brahmin. This denial can justify both Brahmin and White privilege, with the privileged continuing to talk about how to lift the burden of the soul, all along denying the very agentic capacities of those at the margins (Dutta, 2004). Not seeing, not witnessing the margins and attacking the discursive register of the margins is integral to the denial of the voices of those at the margins.

To deny the materiality of the margins is a vital strategy to retaining and reproducing white Pākehā and brahminical privilege.

In our work with the CCA therefore, it is vital to witness, count, describe and challenge this politics of white-savarna denialism.

As resistance then, let’s turn to the discursive register. The margins exist. The “margins of the margins” exist. Produced by the very structures of White-Brahminical colonialism that both White Pākehā  and White Brahmins deny. 

References

Dutta, M. J. (2004). The unheard voices of Santalis: Communicating about health from the margins of India. Communication Theory14(3), 237-263.

Wilkerson, I. (2020). Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Random House.

#Whiteness #Brahminism #erasure #marginsofthemargins #WhitePākehā 

CARE Director Prof. Mohan Dutta’s upcoming Talk on “Decolonising communication education : insights from SITE” at February 2021 part of the Birth CentenaryDr. Vikram Sarabhai

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation‘s Prof. Mohan Dutta will be delivering a talk on “Decolonising communication education : insights from SITE”on 19th February 2021.

Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication.He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), Massey University developing culturally-centered,community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Hesits on the advisory group “Cultural Contexts of Health” of the World Health Organization Europe’.Abstract:Professor Dutta will discuss the theoretical registers created by SITE for intervening into thewhiteness of communication studies. The presentation will attend to the concepts of public ownership of media,community-owned development, science democracies, and public pedagogy as the basis for interrogating theprivatization of development and communication infrastructures,

The imaginary of SITE will serve as a basis forvoicing communication as community participation in development.Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) is a constituent unit of Manipal Academy of Higher Education , #Manipal, #Karnataka, #India.

MIC is a premier media and communication studies institution in India.MIC is organising a webinar in honour of Dr Vikram Sarabhai’s birth centenary.Dr Vikram Sarabhai’s birth centenary is an occasion to pay tributes to his unique contribution to the development and deployment of satellites for Communication. Dr Sarabhai as the Director, Physical Research Laboratory located in Ahmedabad, convened an army of an able and brilliant scientist, anthropologist, communicators, and social scientist from all corners of the country to spearhead the Indian Space programme. In 1966, Sarabhai’s dialogue with NASA was instrumental in SITE. The historic Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in India (1975-76) was regarded as “the largest sociological experiment in the world”. SITE is regarded as a textbook case of mass media and development. It covered 2400 villages of six states and transmitted programmes using ATS-6. British Science writer, Arthur C Clarke called SITE the” greatest Communication experiment in history.” It has engendered research traditions in communication spanning areas of policy, technology choice, deployment, instruction, and relevance of certain paradigms in the field. The webinar apart from paying tribute to the visionary would highlight scholarly reminiscences of that era and where applicable its resonance in the positive communication ecosystem.

#CAREMassey,#SITEWebinar2021,#VikramSarabhaiCentenary,#MasseyUni,#Decolonising,#Communication,#Education

CARE-JVBU PROJECT: VIOLENCE PREVENTION NEEDS OF DIVERSE COMMUNITIES: A CULTURE-CENTERED APPROACH

The Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Education (CARE) at Massey University has secured funding from the Joint Venture Business Unit, Eliminating Family Violence and Sexual Violence (JVBU) to provide co-design expertise for its project “Violence prevention needs of diverse communities”

CARE secures a grant on prevention of sexual violence and family violence

While family violence and sexual violence affect a broad range of people in Aotearoa New Zealand, some populations in New Zealand are disproportionately affected. These groups experience multiple and overlapping factors, including disadvantage, discrimination, stigmatisation, and isolation. Current prevention approaches are limited in addressing the needs of disabled people, new migrant communities, rainbow communities, and ageing communities. Moreover, needs and experiences are likely to differ across these four communities, including at the mutual intersections of these identities and intersections with Māori, Pacific peoples, young people, rural people, etc.

The proposed co-design process draws on the framework of the culture-centered approach (CCA) developed and fine-tuned by CARE Director Professor Mohan Dutta in identifying and co-creating community-led approaches to the prevention of sexual violence and family violence, and in building a national level framework for the prevention of sexual violence and family violence that is based on community participation. CARE will draw on the team’s experience over a decade working on violence-related community-led interventions across the globe with sex-workers, migrant communities, transgender communities, survivors of genocide, and refugees with experiences of trauma amongst others. The team draws on the insights developed by advisory groups of community members and community researchers who inhabit marginalised identities and come from the communities that are being researched.

The culture-centered approach (CCA) driving this co-design process places marginalised communities in the driving seat in shaping prevention solutions and in owning them.  It creates a dialogic space for conversations between place-based locally-owned strategies of prevention and national level prevention strategies.  The CARE team will partner with local diverse communities at the “margins of the margins,” key stakeholders, and the JVBU to produce an interim and a final report for Ministers, with recommendations on:

  • the violence prevention needs and aspirations of disabled people, new migrant communities, rainbow communities, and ageing communities
  • community-led prevention initiatives to be funded by the government
  • a longer-term prevention investment strategy that is anchored in community voices.

The work will draw on the key tenets of the CCA to build participatory spaces for disabled people, new migrant communities, rainbow communities, and older people to develop a community-led framework for the prevention of sexual violence and family violence. Notes Professor Mohan Dutta, Director, CARE, “This work offers a vital register for listening to the voices of communities who have hitherto been erased. Through the participatory spaces co-created with communities, imaginaries and frameworks for violence prevention solutions are generated that are anchored in the lived experiences and everyday negotiations of violence in marginalized contexts, situated in the rhythms of community life.”

The culture-centered process builds voice democracy at the margins, where community members who are most disenfranchised (at the “margins of the margins”) develop a conceptual framework for the prevention of sexual violence and family violence. Through community-based interviews, interviews with key stakeholders working with violence prevention, advisory groups, and workshops, the project will outline strategies for community-led prevention that are anchored in community voices and owned by communities.

#CAREMassey, #SexualViolence, #FamilyViolence,

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series- Fear, Trauma, Loss and Grief: The effects of Terror and Covid-19 on Polarity and Discrimination within Workplaces with Dr Fatima Junaid, School of Management, Massey University

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series- Fear, Trauma, Loss and Grief: The effects of Terror and Covid-19 on Polarity and Discrimination within Workplaces with Dr Fatima Junaid, School of Management, Massey University

Event Details:
Monday, 15th February 2021 @ 6PM NZDT
Facebook Livestream: @CAREMassey
Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/posts/4525821997434170

Abstract:
In this talk Fatima talks about the implications of prolonged exposure to terrorism, and the current context of Covid-19. She highlights the influence of stress and trauma due to loss, and how that impacts us in terms of drawing closer to those we trust, while the fear of death makes our social attitudes rigid, especially towards those who are different. This complexity can cause polarity and discrimination within workplaces.

#Fear #Trauma #Loss #Grief #EffectsOfTerror #Covid19 #Polarity #Discrimination #Workplaces #CARECOVID19LectureSeries #CARECCA #CAREMassey #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

CARE Lecture Series-Decolonizing Metrics: Re-imagining the University


Lecture #1 with Prof. Mohan Dutta Dean’s Chair Professor, Massey University and Director, CARE

Event Details:
Wednesday, 24th February 2021 @ 12PM NZDT
Venue: CARE Lab BSC 1.06, Manawatu campus, Massey University

Facebook Livestream: @CAREMassey
Link: TBC

About the Lecture Series:
In this three part lecture, Professor Mohan Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor and Director, CARE will critically interrogate the interplays of colonialism and capitalism in shaping the metrics-driven University. The critical interrogation will serve as the basis for imagining a politics of renewal that foregrounds the concepts of community, collective, and care as the basis for decolonization work. In the first lecture, the metrics-driven framework of higher education will be described and critically analysed. The second lecture will offer a nuts-and-bolts analysis of the metrics driving universities globally. The third and final lecture of the series will draw out decolonizing strategies of resistance that interrogate the political economy of metrics and offer alternative imaginaries. The lecture will wrap up with a collective conversation on decolonizing possibilities that offer pathways for social change.

#CARELectureSeries, #DecolonizingMetrics, #ReImaginingUniversity, #CARECCA #CAREMassey, #MasseyUni

CARE #End The Hate Lecture Series: Lecture 1:

“Hindutva 2.0 as Information Ecology”

with Associate Prof. Anustup Basu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Event Details:
Wednesday, 10th February 2021 @ 6PM NZDT
Facebook Livestream: @CAREMassey
Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/posts/4520591251290578

Abstract:
As an ideology, Hindu nationalism has traditionally struggled to create a universal ‘monotheme’ for a larger, pan-Indian Hindu community. That is, to unite believers in different gods and goddesses — different caste, linguistic, cultural, and regional groups — into an axiomatic identity. This was obviously a difficult project because Hinduism had no universal ‘church’ and there were no traditional ways of brining a people divided by caste and untouchability under one roof as a congregation or ‘flock.’ In the course of the twentieth century, Hindutva had attempted to recast disparate energies of ‘Hinduism’ into a ‘Political Monotheism’ with a jealous mission and one destination narrative. It had used disciplinary institutions like the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS), ecumenical organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and organs of print capitalism to that purpose. This paper inquires whether we now have a dispensation of Hindutva 2.0, that is, an electronic information culture that seeks to create a new, increasingly pan-Indian and transnational virtual Hindu ‘commons’ beyond traditional caste strictures and taboos pertaining to custom, touch, food, or water.


Author of “Hindutva as Political Monotheism” (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)Bio:
Dr. Basu is an Associate Professor of English, Criticism, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Profile: http://www.english.illinois.edu/people/basu1Author of “Hindutva as Political Monotheism” (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020)https://www.dukeupress.edu/hindutva-as-political-monotheism

#CAREMassey #CARECCA,  #EndTheHate ,#CARELectureSeries, #Hindutva, #InformationEcology, #MaseyUni, #MasseyBusinessSchool,

CARE News: Professor Mohan J Dutta serves as an advisor on the WHO-Europe Expert Advisory Group on Cultural Contexts of Health

Professor Mohan J Dutta serves as an advisor on the WHO-Europe Expert Advisory Group on Cultural Contexts of Health. In this role, Professor Mohan Dutta offered expert insights into strategies for addressing pandemic fatigue. These insights are relevant now more than ever.

  • Understand people. Collect and use evidence for targeted, tailored and effective policies, interventions and communication.
  • Allow people to live their lives, but reduce risk. Wide-ranging restrictions may not be feasible for everyone in the long run.
  • Engage people as part of the solution. Find ways to meaningfully involve individuals and communities at every level.
  • Acknowledge and address the hardship people experience and the profound impact the pandemic has had on their lives.

Here is the link to the insights document & the pdf below:

https://apps.who.int/…/WHO-EURO-2020-1160-40906-55390…

#COVID19 #pandemic #pandemicfatigue #WHO #EuropeExpertAdvisoryGroup #CulturalContextsOfHealth

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series #12- (Im)migrants, Border Restrictions and Racism: Authoritarian Impulses in the Guise of Coronavirus Response – with Professor Sudeshna Roy, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series #12- (Im)migrants, Border Restrictions and Racism: Authoritarian Impulses in the Guise of Coronavirus Response – with Professor Sudeshna Roy, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series #12- (Im)migrants, Border Restrictions and Racism: Authoritarian Impulses in the Guise of Coronavirus Response – with Professor Sudeshna Roy, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas

Wednesday, 16th September 2020 @ 7PM NZST


Facebook Livestream: @CAREMassey

Link:
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/638665510413217/

Abstract:
The rise of authoritarian regimes across the world has made it more and more difficult for immigrants, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to move to places and spaces that provide more avenues of sustainable livelihood, security from religious or other forms of persecution, or simply a better life for themselves and their loved ones. Their situation has been made even more vulnerable within the context of COVID-19 and border closures. In this talk, I review current literature on (im)migrant populations and racism and critically analyze the discourses of powerful politicians from different parts of the world to unpack how their response to COVID-19 and the control of their borders have deeper and long-lasting meaning and implications for (im)migrants and other vulnerable populations. The analysis reveals that politicians’ COVID-19 responses achieve several racist and nationalist goals: tilting the ideological wars in favor of labor laws that largely disregard the value and needs of (im)migrants; promote the nationalist agenda of restricting legal immigration; and fan the fires of the strong, pressing, and, sometimes violent, aspirations of the dominant White class eager to play exclusionary politics with regard to (im)migrants’ religious/ethnic/racial identities. I end with a reflection from my personal experience as an immigrant within the COVD-19 context and provide some directions as to how discourses of resistance can be formed, even within the restrictive policies and politics of the authoritarian impulses that are rampant realities in today’s world.

For more info visit: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey


#Immigrants#BorderRestrictions#Racism#AuthoritarianImpulses#CoronavirusResponse#COVID19 #CAREMassey#CARECOVID19LectureSeries #MasseyCJM#MasseyUni

Professor Mohan Dutta’s book – “Communicating health: A culture-centered approach” receives Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association Health Communication

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation team congratulates Professor Mohan Dutta on the Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association Health Communication Division to his book, “Communicating health: A culture-centered approach” published with Polity. The book lays out the foundational concepts of the #CultureCenteredApproach (CCA), a meta-theoretical framework for health communication organizing, advocacy, and activism directed at transforming the deeply unequal structures that constitute health inequalities. The impact of the book, and its key theoretical argument on the CCA is felt globally, shaping two decades of health activism, health communication solutions, health interventions, and advocacy to shape health policy. Most vitally, the framework put forth in the book is recognized by global policy organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe and the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization UNESCO, as a lens for exploring the connections between culture and health. Cited over 485 times across #CommunicationStudies#MedicalAnthropology#Geography#Sociology#PublicHealth and #Medicine, the book has formed the basis of over 200 MA theses and doctoral dissertations.

#CultureCenteredApproach#CARECCA#CAREMassey#MasseyCJM#MasseyUni#NationalCommunicationAssociation#HealthCommunication#CommunicatingHealth#WorldHealthOrganisation#UNESCO#PolityPress

CARE WHITE PAPER ISSUE 10: Digital Hate and the infrastructures of communicative capital

by Prof. Mohan Dutta,Director, CARE Massey University

Image source: 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited

Communicative capital, the consolidation of communicative infrastructures to drive profiteering, forms the face of twenty-first century neoliberalism. From Facebook to Amazon, digital communication is one of the most profitable sites of capitalist expansion.

Communicative capital is intertwined with financial and technological capital, drawing on the global networks of finance and simultaneously creating new sites and spaces for financialization.

Communicative capital works through the commercialization of human participation on digital platforms, turning likes, shares, and comments into profitable resources.

Of the wide array of human emotions on digital platforms that drive profiteering, hate is a powerful resource that draws in viewers, propels shares, and creates networks of flow. Hate has the potential of generating large profits because of its virality.

#CAREMassey #carewhitepaper #DigitalHate #Infrastructures #CommunicativeCapital

Dutta, M. J. (2020, September). Digital Hate and the infrastructures of communicative capital. CARE White Papers, 10. http://carecca.nz/2020/09/03/care-white-paper-issue-10-digital-hate-and-the-infrastructures-of-communicative-capital/

CARE Activist In Residence – Challenging Racism In Aotearoa New Zealand with Marise Lant – 24-28 August 2020

CARE Activist In Residence – Challenging Racism In Aotearoa New Zealand with Marise Lant

Event Dates: 24th – 28th August 2020.
Location: Manawatū campus, Massey UniversityEvents:

TUE 25 AUG – 6PM – A CONVERSATION WITH MARISE LANT
Venue: Online – via Facebook: @CAREMassey/videos

WED 26 AUG – 12PM – CARE PUBLIC TALK
Venue: SSLB3 |Social Science Lecture Block | Manawatū campus, Massey University

THU 27 AUG – 11AM – CARE WORKSHOP
Venue: CARE Lab | BSC1.06 | Manawatū campus, Massey University

FRI 28 AUG – 11AM – CARE WHITE PAPER LAUNCH
Venue: SSLB3 |Social Science Lecture Block | Manawatū campus, Massey University

Speaker Bio:

Marise Lant is a Māori leader; Lobbyist,an Indigenous rights protector; Founder of 250 Years of Colonisation – The Aftermath leading the protest and burning of the Union Jack in opposition and response to the arrival of the year replica of Endeavour to Gisborne on 8 October 2019;Previous chairperson of the Tairāwhiti District Māori Womens Welfare League; Current representative on the Tairāwhiti District Māori Council;Supporter of the Tairāwhiti Multicultural Council.

FOR MORE DETAILS FOLLOW US on: @CAREMassey or visit www.massey.ac.nz/care

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series #11 The Great Unmasking: Critical Health Communication and post-COVID futures with Dr. Shaunak Sastry, University of Cincinnati

CARE COVID19 Lecture Series #11 The Great Unmasking: Critical Health Communication and post-COVID futures with Dr. Shaunak Sastry, University of Cincinnati

CARE COVID19 LECTURE SERIES Lecture #11: The Great Unmasking: Critical Health Communication and post-COVID futures with Dr. Shaunak Sastry, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati.

Thursday, 20th August 2020 @ 6PM NZST

Facebook Livestream: @CAREMassey-

Link:
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/661903594415297

Abstract:

The Great Unmasking: Critical Health Communication and post-COVID futuresCOVID-19 has placed squarely into the public eye some fundamental academic debates within the discipline of critical health communication, broadly defined as the scholarly interrogation of the ideological bases of available public discourses of health. In this talk, combining personal reflection and a review of relevant literature, I analyze the politicization of personal protection in global responses to COVID-19. Masks, a crucial element in COVID prevention, symbolize an individual action to minimize a societal risk, but masking (as policy) operates on certain social, institutional and political consensuses. While it is impossible to ignore the “culture war” around masking in the United States, I briefly attend to this singular aberration and explore the everyday politics of masking in other global contexts, with a focus on China. In particular, I explore the identity work that ensues from masking as public health policy, the implications of masks as social currency, and the role of “mask diplomacy” as a futile response to the conditions of neoliberal globalization that exacerbated the global risk of COVID-19. Finally, I look at mask politics through a historical-critical lens to argue that the politicization of protection is not “novel”, but a fundamental condition of pandemics through time.Bio: Dr. Shaunak Sastry, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati and Affiliate Faculty, Center for Culture-centered Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University, New Zealand. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of health and culture, globalization and health, and the cultural politics of infectious diseases. His work combines ethnographic and field-based methods with critical analysis of public discourses of health. He has published on HIV/AIDS in India, the politics of global HIV/AIDS interventions, and on the 2014 Ebola epidemic.His work has been published in leading international peer-reviewed journals like Health Communication, Communication Theory, Journal of Health Communication, Culture, Health & Sexuality, Frontiers in Communication, and Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, in addition to several book chapters and more than 30 paper presentations at national and international conferences. He is a Senior editor of the journal Health Communication, and sits on the editorial boards of several other academic journals. He is currently working on a digital ethnography of China’s early response to CoVID-19 and the politics of masking.

For more info visit www.massey.ac.nz/care

#CAREMassey #CARECOVID19LectureSeries #Unmasking #CriticalHealthCommunication #COVID19 #futures #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

CARE Special Presentation-A Conversation with Mr. Himanshu Trivedi with Prof. Mohan Dutta

A Conversation with Himanshu Trivedi

In this conversation with Mr. Himanshu Trivedi, a former District Court Judge from Ahmedabad in Gujarat in the backdrop of the Gujarat pogrom discusses the role of the judiciary in the politics of hate.

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

CARE Special Presentation : A Conversation with Mr. Himanshu Trivedi

On Facebook : @CAREMassey

Date: 5th August 2020 at 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm

Abstract:

In this conversation with Mr. Himanshu Trivedi, a former District Court Judge from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India in the backdrop of the Gujarat pogrom discusses the role of the judiciary in the politics of hate.

CARE Special Presentation-Hate, Hindutva, & Ayodhya Temple with Prof. Mohan Dutta

Hate, Hindutva, & Ayodhya Temple

In this talk, Professor Mohan Dutta discusses the politics of hate reflected in the celebration of the establishing of the foundation for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which sits on the demolition of the Babri masjid.

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Follow us on Facebook on 5th August 2020 @ 6pm :
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/1746535065501748

In this talk, Professor Mohan Dutta discusses the politics of hate reflected in the celebration of the establishing of the foundation for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which sits on the demolition of the Babri masjid.

CARE Research: Culture-Centered Processes of Community Organizing in COVID-19 Response: Notes From Kerala and Aotearoa

Check out our latest research article published in Frontiers journal.

Title: Culture-Centered Processes of Community Organizing in COVID-19 Response: Notes From Kerala and Aotearoa New Zealand by Prof. Mohan Dutta, Christine Elers and Pooja Jayan, CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation, Massey University

Overview: The culture-centered processes of community organizing drawn on the case studies of community organizing in Communist Kerala and in Iwi-led Māori checkpoints in settler colonial Aotearoa New Zealand foreground the vital work of alternative practices of health response, serving as the basis for robust alternative imaginations amid the pandemic.

Here is the link to the full article –
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcomm.2020.00062/full#h9

#CultureCenteredProcesses #CommunityOrganizing #COVID19Response #Kerala #Aotearoa #NewZealand #CCA #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

Read More

CARE White Paper Issue 9: Relocating the Health of Transgender Sex Workers in Singapore from the Margins: A Culture-Centered Approach

While there is high visibility of LGBT advocacy in Singapore, transgender[1] persons comprise a small, marginalized portion of the community, an even smaller proportion of which tend to go into sex work at a young age for various economic, social and cultural factors. Transgender sex workers (TSW) in Singapore comprise a marginalized community that has been identified by health authorities as one that is high risk of HIV/AIDS and other STIs, as with cisgender[2] female sex workers. They are further marginalized for their status as sex workers in an Asian society where sex outside of marriage is considered deviant behavior (Banerjee, 2000; Allard K Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, 2015). Sex work for transgender persons embodies an array of vulnerabilities ranging from income instability and health insecurities to everyday experiences of discrimination and communicative inequalities in articulating the problems faced by transgender sex workers (Perez-Brumer, 2016). Neoliberal state laws and policies in Singapore acknowledge that while sex work cannot be eradicated as this may force the activities underground and encourage organized crime, sex trafficking and public health risks (Singapore Parliament Reports), these laws do not deem sex work itself as illegal, but criminalize sex work-related activities such as soliciting, pimping, and owning brothels (Misc. Offences Act Art 19; Women’s Charter Art 146; Women’s Charter Art 148). Migrant sex workers are increasingly vulnerable, and may face arrest, fines, deportation and bans from the state for 3 years or more (Immigration Act Art 8(3)(e)(f); Allard K Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic, 2015).

Dutta, M. J. (2020, July). Relocating the Health of Transgender Sex Workers in Singapore from the Margins: A Culture-Centered Approach. CARE White Papers, 9. http://carecca.nz/2020/07/28/care-white-paper-issue-9-relocating-the-health-of-transgender-sex-workers-in-singapore-from-the-margins-a-culture-centered-approach/

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series-Lecture #10: Uncertainty before, during, and after COVID: Uneven distribution, impact, and management with Prof . Walid A. Afifi

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series-Lecture #10: Uncertainty before, during, and after COVID: Uneven distribution, impact, and management with Prof. Walid A. Afifi

Thousands of headlines in the past few months alone have referenced the uncertainty that we are going through, and “during these uncertain times” is a part of nearly everything written about the pandemic. However, uncertainty is not new. In fact, it individuals have experienced (and tried to manage) uncertainty since the advent of time, so, what, if anything, makes this pandemic moment unique? Prof. Afifi, a Fellow of the International Communication Association, is among the world-wide leaders in the study of uncertainty. In this discussion, he will overview some of the decades of research on uncertainty across disciplines and geographic boundaries, and reflect on both the uneven distribution of uncertainty across communities and on the implications therein. He will also share preliminary data from a four-wave national study collected in the United States across a three month period spanning early stages of the covid pandemic, and introduce for the first time a framework that identifies four broad coping strategies for community-wide and chronic experiences of uncertainty.

Bio:
Walid A. Afifi (PhD, University of Arizona) is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He is an author on over 75 articles, chapters, and books, served as Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa (2013-2016), served as Chair (2016-2018) of national Task Force on academic-community collaboration with members of oppressed communities, and is a leading voice in the Communication discipline to create more inclusive spaces. His program of research revolves around uncertainty and information-management decisions and has led to the development and refinement of the Theory of Motivated Information Management. That work has increasingly focused on immigrant communities and/or communities experiencing trauma. He was recently elected as a Fellow of the International Communication Association (the first Palestinian so honored) and recognized by UCSB for “extraordinary commitment to the general growth and development of students and the quality of student life.” He is a proud father to two daughters.

More info on CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation & Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey

#CAREMassey#CARECovidLectureSeries#COVID19#Pandemic
#CAREMasseyNZ#MasseyCJM#MasseyBusinessSchool#MasseyUni

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series-Lecture #9: Culturally-Centering Socialist Futures in COVID with Prof. Mohan Dutta

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series-Lecture #9: Culturally-Centering Socialist Futures in COVID with Prof. Mohan Dutta

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series – Lecture #9: Culturally-Centering Socialist Futures in COVID Transformations with Prof. Mohan Dutta.

Facebook Live stream Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/275117623792323

Abstract: In this talk, based on the example of the COVID-19 response in the state of Kerala, Mohan Dutta will examine socialist processes of organizing politics and economics in COVID-19 response. He will draw on the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA) to outline culture-centered principles of socialist organizing of health, economics, and politics.

More info on CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey

#CulturallyCenteringSocialistFutures
#COVID19Transformations#CultureCenteredApproach#CARECCA
#CCA#CARECOVID19LectureSeries#CAREMassey#MasseyCJM#MasseyUni

This is Me: Professor Mohan Dutta

Q & A with Prof. Mohan Dutta by Gabriella Davila, Senior Communications Advisor, Massey University

Staff questions and answers

Professor Mohan Dutta is the Director of global research hub, Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) which relocated to Massey in 2018 from Singapore.  He is also Dean’s Chair, Professor of Communication at the School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing.

His research examines marginalisation in contemporary health/healthcare, health care inequalities, the intersections of poverty and health experiences at the margins, and the political economy of global health policies.

Mohan has received more than $6 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication, social change, and health advocacy. Working broadly on social change interventions designed to achieve the sustainable development goals Mohan has directed seven documentaries, run more than 20 360 degrees advocacy campaigns, and guided the building of various wellbeing infrastructures from irrigation systems and cultural spaces to health care systems and city design. His impact on global policy-making is evident in his advisory roles with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

He has written and edited 10 books and more than 200 articles and book chapters. Earlier this month, he published the book, “Communication, culture and social change: Meaning, co-option, and resistance” with Palgrave MacMillan. He has previously been recognised as an Outstanding Applied/Public Policy Communication Researcher of the ICA and Outstanding Health Communication Researcher of the National Communication Association). Earlier this month he was named a Fellow of the International Communication Association

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I grew up in a middle-class family in a town called Kharagpur in West Bengal, in the eastern part of India in a family of teachers, union organisers, Left party workers, and activists. My childhood in many ways was very simple but also enriching, surrounded by people that were engaged in wanting to make change in the world.

I also grew up in what’s called in India a joint family which is quite similar to the concept of whānau in Aotearoa. We had this one house where two of my dad’s sisters and seven brothers all lived together with my grandmother who was the matriarch and played a key role in holding the family together. I was brought up with 18 cousins and it was quite beautiful in terms of this idea of a collective and a broader whānau caring for each other. This collective played a big role in terms of my own learning and support because when I got a scholarship to go study in the US, for instance, even just arranging the flight ticket didn’t just fall on my dad. My uncles and cousins all chipped in to pay for that money and that is how the broader collective is organised.

What did you like learning when you were a child?

My interests were pretty wide ranging. I loved sciences very much and I did my undergraduate degree in engineering. I really loved maths, physics, biology, and at the same time I also loved English, geography and history.

Learning happened for me inside the classroom but also outside of the classroom and I learned being on picket lines with say an uncle or being a street performer. When I was around 11 or 12, I started performing in many street plays with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and often the plays were held at protest marches. When I was growing up, India had strong spaces of resistance against The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). And those were great moments of learning because they taught you in terms of the power of a broader collective and building registers for change against the individualising logics of neoliberalism.

Can you tell us about your most inspiring teacher and why?

My eldest uncle was the headmaster of the local school and I learned a lot witnessing how transformative his impact was, certainly not just in the small little community but in the broader township where we lived and his ability to touch lives.

I had another uncle who was a maths teacher and a union organiser. Early in the mornings on the weekends, children of many different ages would come to our house or sit down with him and learn in an open space. I think that those moments taught me that teaching can be transformative, it can create pathways of mobility for others, and it can make a big difference in society.

How and when did you decide what your career would be?

After I completed my undergraduate engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), I realised I didn’t want to continue with engineering and instead I wanted to do something that had to do with human beings and connecting with them and interacting with them.

It seemed to me that in very disenfranchised communities, the challenge of wellbeing was not one of developing engineering and more technical solutions, but really a challenge of communication in terms of how to communicate and where communities can have a voice in creating policies and solutions that address their needs.

I think that interest in wanting to develop a pedagogy of voice and how those communities have a say was the turning point. I realised that my training as an agricultural engineer at an elite Indian university that produces technology leaders (many CEOs and technopreneurs across the globe are IIT graduates) was quite limited because it didn’t really teach you how to work with the communities that you wanted to develop solutions for. Communication was and is often the missing link, when you consider the challenges of poverty, health and wellbeing, clean drinking water, decent work, inequality and justice outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals.

In one sentence can you describe the purpose of your present position?

I am the Director of Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) and what we do as a collective of researchers, community organisers, activists and communities, is to develop methods of communication and radical democracy so that communities can have a voice and really, have a say in the policies and solutions that are created, and in defining the futures that they would like to live in.

How did you decide to relocate CARE to New Zealand?

CARE’swork is with very disenfranchised communities and there can sometimes be some significant challenges when working within specific authoritarian contexts such as Singapore, neo-fascist India under the Modi regime, or China. Certainly, the Center was up against some significant state pressures when working with rights of low-wage migrant workers and questions of poverty in Singapore.

After pushing against the system and the structure for six years, I was at that point thinking what could this look like if CARE was in a system that was more aligned with its values and philosophy.

We had a number of choices in terms of whether to move the research centre to the US, and whether to move to some other parts of Asia such as Hong Kong, but New Zealand was really appealing because of the confluence of the politics and the ethics of care in the country.

Do you believe that what you do changes people’s lives?

Absolutely. I want to say this with humility, that as an academic who works on communication for social change, one learns very quickly that change takes a long time. It also takes a lot of commitment, not just in terms of one’s role as an academic but I think the commitment of people and communities and other researchers and activists to make change happen.

Having said that, I think that we have a lot of evidence that what we do actually impacts lives and contributes to better outcomes of health and wellbeing. For instance, when you witness our work in rural India in very disenfranchised indigenous communities living in extreme poverty, CARE’s work has translated into building sources of clean drinking water. These communities would otherwise have to dig deep into the ground and get water through a filtering process. In those contexts, we work on developing community democracy to get access through development structures and institutions to clean drinking water.

We work with people on developing methods of advocacy and activism and this very idea of community democracy succeeds in very tangible ways. From designing development infrastructures rooted in democracy to designing hospitals, cities, and health care systems that are anchored in social justice, CARE makes real impact in people’s lives. Also, our work in communities is not episodic. Instead, these are sustained interventions developed through a commitment of a lifetime.

What do you like doing when you’re not working?

Fatherhood brings much joy and meaning in my life. Debalina [wife] and I have three children and we hang out with them, take them places and play with them. That really takes up the rest of the time outside of work. I am privileged and blessed being a father and really enjoy it.

Source: Gabriella Davila, Senior Communications Advisor, Massey University.

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #8: Using data to design, refine, implement, and sustain health risk communication programs for responding to pandemics with Dr Gary L. Kreps

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #8: Using data to design, refine, implement, and sustain health risk communication programs for responding to pandemics with Dr Gary L. Kreps

CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series
Lecture 8: Using data to design, refine, implement, and sustain health risk communication programs for responding to pandemics with Dr Gary L. Kreps, Ph.D., FAAHB, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Communication Director, Center for Health and Risk Communication, George Mason University

Facebook Livestream link:
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/259328568842831/

Abstract:
Evaluation research is desperately needed to provide the evidence needed to guide effective prevention, preparation, and response efforts for countering the deadly effects of pandemics, such as COVID-19! We need to conduct surveillance research (such as epidemiological research) to monitor impending health risks, disseminate the latest surveillance data about health risks to policy makers, first-responders, and affected publics, using research to guide evidence-based health risk reduction efforts. Research should guide mobilization of essential risk response resources and personnel, determine needed education and training activities, and guide the implementation of relevant public policies and programs to prepare for pandemics. When pandemics do hit, we need good data to guide development of coordinated treatment and mitigation programs, including designing relevant communication efforts to inform, persuade, and enforce the best evidence-based health risk response activities. These risk response efforts must be carefully monitored and evaluated to identify what is working and what is not when responding to pandemics, to guide needed refinements to health risk programs and policies. Needs analysis research must examine the nature of health risks, identify who is at risk, and suggest what can be done to reduce their risks. Audience analysis must guide appropriate communication with key at-risk populations, especially by actively engaging members of these populations to participate in developing and implementing appropriate response programs. This presentation will examine the best evaluation research strategies for guiding effective communication and response efforts for pandemics to reduce risks and save lives!

More info on CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation website: https://www.massey.ac.nz/care/

#CAREMassey#CARECovidLectureSeries#COVID19
#Sustainability#HealthRiskCommunicationPrograms#Pandemics
#CAREMasseyNZ#MasseyCJM#MasseyBusinessSchool#MasseyUni

CARE News: Professor Mohan Dutta named ICA Fellow

Professor Mohan Dutta has been named a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA)


Professor Mohan Dutta.

ICA is an international association which aims to advance the scholarly study of human communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. Fellow status is a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication, and is based on a documented record of scholarly achievement.

Professor Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor and Director, Centre for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), says the honour is humbling.

Based on his work on healthcare among indigenous communities, sex workers, migrant workers, farmers, and communities living in extreme poverty, Professor Dutta has developed a framework called the culture-centred approach that outlines culturally-based participatory strategies of radical democracy for addressing unequal health policies. The culture-centered approach centres the voices of communities at the global margins.

“I see this as a recognition of the work of the culture-centered approach (CCA) in crafting out solidarities with communities at the margins in addressing entrenched injustices globally. The voices and struggles of disenfranchised communities for social justice forms the foundation of this work that our community-activist-advocate-researcher teams have been carrying out over the last two decades.

“Now more than ever, amidst racist processes of marginalisation, structural attacks on the poor, depletion of democratic spaces, challenges of climate injustice, and a pandemic that is further disenfranchising the poor and the working classes, I see the CCA as an anchor for a communicative register for care and equality across global struggles at/of the margins,” he says.

Professor Dutta has received over $6 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication, social change, and health advocacy. Professor Dutta has directed seven documentaries, run over twenty advocacy interventions, and guided the building of various wellbeing infrastructures from irrigation systems to health care systems. He has written and edited ten books and over 200 articles and book chapters. He has previously been recognised as an Outstanding Applied/Public Policy Communication Researcher of the ICA and Outstanding Health Communication Researcher of the National Communication Association (NCA). 

Professor Dutta will travel to the United States to receive a plaque during the ICA presidential awards ceremony in May 2021.

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #7: Reshaping Our Political Horizons in Aotearoa New Zealand: Imagining and Creating a Different Future in the Wake of COVID-19

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #7: Reshaping Our Political Horizons in Aotearoa New Zealand: Imagining and Creating a Different Future in the Wake of COVID-19 with Dr Sue Bradford

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #7: Reshaping Our Political Horizons in Aotearoa New Zealand: Imagining and Creating a Different Future in the Wake of COVID-19

Facebook Livestream link:
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/2967330713385426/

CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series
Lecture 7: Reshaping our political horizons in Aotearoa New Zealand: Imagining and creating a different future in the wake of COVID with Dr Sue Bradford, Community Educator with Kotare Research and Education for Social Change in Aotearoa.

Facebook Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/2967330713385426/

Abstract
The health and economic impacts of the covid pandemic have spun our world on its axis. What was ‘normal’ before the covid crisis hit is unlikely to ever be the same ‘normal’ again. In this contribution to the discussions taking place across progressive left communities at present, I will explore some of the opportunities I see opening in front of us to imagine together a vision for this country which moves us not only post-covid but also post-capitalism and post-colonialism; and to share some ideas about how we might invigorate our work within and across some of the sectoral, geographical, academic/activist and other differences which too often divide and weaken our efforts. On its own, imagining a better future is never enough, although a vision that inspires is essential to creating change. We also need to make the most of this historic moment to think together, strategise and act in ways that will strengthen and expand our programmatic and organisational horizons.

Bio: Dr Sue Bradford, Community Educator with Kotare Research and Education for Social Change in Aotearoa, former longtime unemployed workers’ rights activist and Green MP (1999 – 2009).

Dr. Sue is CARE’s first #ActivistInResidence at Massey University

More info on CARE Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/

#CAREMassey#CARECovidLectureSeries#COVID19
#ReshapingPoliticalHorizons#Aotearoa#NewZealand
#CAREMasseyNZ#MasseyCJM#MasseyBusinessSchool#MasseyUni

CARE Read-In: “End the Hate” Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Come and join us for this open for all online-event at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation for CARE Read-In: “End the Hate” Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Date: Monday, 8th June @ 6PM NZST via Zoom

To Participate in the Read-In on Zoom click on the link: https://massey.zoom.us/j/97659469324

Note: The Waiting Room will open 10 minutes prior to the broadcast

Facebook Live Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/posts/3769401759742868

About the event: “#EndTheHate” is a campaign co-created by a community of indigenous, migrant, and refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand. In solidarity with the voices of #BlackLivesMatter activists across the globe, we welcome you to this performative reading on racism, police violence, incarceration, and Whiteness. Through this co-creative reading, we hope to build a discursive register for voices that seek to dismantle the racist structures of White supremacy. Please join with essays, poems, stories as we create together registers for dismantling Whiteness.

#Solidarity #BlackLivesMatter #EndTheHate

#CAREMassey #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series Special Live Presentation: Resistance, Poetry and Voices Under COVID-19: Imagining and writing new futures

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series Special Live Presentation: Resistance, Poetry and Voices Under COVID-19: Imagining and writing new futures

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series Special Live Presentation: Resistance, Poetry and Voices Under COVID-19: Imagining and writing new futures

Facebook Livestream link:
https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/2916683465078666/

Poet Teng Qian Xi and Center for Culture Centered Approach to Reseach and Evaluation Director Mohan J Dutta will discuss resistance, poetry, and the intersections between the two. Drawing on her experience of publishing politically critical poetry as a teenager, her longtime engagement with the Singaporean poetry and activism scene, and her experience of teaching literature and creative writing, she will discuss the potential and limitations of poetry as a form of resistance in Singapore under COVID-19. She will also share her perspective on how she thinks poetry and activism can complement each other to offer more just and compassionate narratives around which we can build our lives and societies.

Teng Qian Xi’s poetry has appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia (2007), Language for a New Century (2008) and Speaking for Myself: An Anthology of Asian Women’s Writing (Penguin India, 2009). Her poetry collection, They hear salt crystallising (2010), was shortlisted in 2012 for the English-language category of the Singapore Literature Prize.

Her translations of Tan Chee Lay’s poems have appeared in Some Kind of Beautiful Signal, published by Two Lines Press (2010), and online journal Asymptote. She has taught literature at the School of the Arts and Raffles Girls’ School, and is now a full-time private tutor specialising in A-level Literature. She has also given creative writing workshops at the Creative Arts Programme, the School of the Arts and Raffles Girls’ School.

She was born in Singapore, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Comparative Literature and Society.


Research Roundtable Communication Inequalities and Discursive Erasures – The Fate of Migrant Labour during the COVID-19 Crisis in India- Prof. Mohan Dutta, Massey University


Facebook Event:https://www.facebook.com/events/177930590264625/

Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad presents
Research Round Table Online

Communication Inequalities and Discursive Erasures: The Fate of Migrant Labour during the COVID-19 Crisis in India
by Prof. Mohan Dutta, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, New Zealand
Monday, June 01, 2020 / 12:00 PM

Abstract: COVID19 makes visible the deep inequalities that are written into the extremely neoliberal cities of the twenty-first century. The imaginaries of “smart” “future” and “digital” that punctuate the propaganda infrastructures of postcolonial urbanism are disrupted by narrative accounts of lived struggles with sustenance and survival at the subaltern margins. In this talk, drawing on my ongoing ethnographic work with the subaltern margins of urban India, and more specifically from in-depth interviews conducted with low-wage migrant workers expelled into the highways of death amidst the lockdown, I will theorize the normalization of hyper-precarity, discardability and death of the poor into the neoliberal propaganda infrastructure. Finally, drawing on the culture-centered approach, I will theorize the possibilities of a Left radical imaginary anchored in organizing hyper-precarious workers.

Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Mohan Dutta’s research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies of radical democracy serve as axes of global social change.

Meeting ID: 949 6306 7484
Password: rrto@mohan

The CARE Papers: International Communication Association (ICA) 2020

Professor Mohan Dutta and the CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation team present their papers for the 2020 International Communication Association (ICA Official Page)

Facebook Premiere Video: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/1165578763784918/

The CARE Papers: ICA 2020

Professor Mohan J Dutta and the CARE team present their papers for the 2020 ICA Conference

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Friday, 29 May 2020

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation is proud to share that our social impact in the communication field further complemented by the theoretical and empirical impact.

This year at ICA 2020 – 70th Annual Conference, #CAREMassey has 21 (approximately) papers/panels/presentations slotted. This is a great achievement for CARE which is made possible by the contributions of CARE’s hard working staff and dedicated researchers all across the globe, who have worked collectively to achieve this brilliance. Here are some of the paper presentations at this year’s ongoing 70th ICA Virtual Conference.

Check out the list of a few papers on our website
http://sites.massey.ac.nz/care/2020/05/18/care-ica-2020-70th-annual-ica-virtual-conference/

#ICAHDQ2020#ICA2020#CAREMasseyPapers#MasseyUni#CAREMassey#MasseyCJM#NewZealand#CultureCenteredApproach

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series #6: Harnessing Distributed Wisdom and Practice-Based Evidence: The Positive Deviance Approach

CARE COVID-19 Lecture Series: #6 – Harnessing Distributed Wisdom and Practice-Based Evidence: The Positive Deviance Approach

CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series – Lecture #6: Harnessing Distributed Wisdom and Practice-Based Evidence: The Positive Deviance Approach

Facebook Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/521984861829201/

Professor Arvind Singhal, from The University of Texas at El Paso will be speaking about Harnessing Distributed Wisdom and Practice-Based Evidence: The Positive Deviance Approach. Positive Deviance (PD) is a novel approach to individual, organizational, and social change based on the observation that in every community there exist certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing worse challenges The PD approach has been systematically employed in over 50 countries to address a wide variety of complex social problems, including
• Decreasing malnutrition and infant and maternal mortality in Vietnam and Pakistan
• Reducing school dropouts in Argentina and in the U.S.; and
• Reducing hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. and Colombia.

Driven by data, the PD approach turns upside-down the normative ways of conducting expert-driven needs assessment and gap-analysis, and follows a systematic process of uncovering cost-effective and culturally appropriate solutions from within the local community.

Read more about Prof. Arvind Singhal and Positive Deviance 

Positive Deviance Books, Articles, and Cases Downloadable at NO cost on the links below

Three Positive Deviance books

FIVE CASE STUDY Positive Deviance Binder

  1. Combating Malnutrition in the Land of a Thousand Rice Fields
  2. Will Ramón Finish Sixth Grade?
  3. Saving Lives by Changing Relationships
  4. Sunflowers Reaching for the Sun
  5. Will Rahima’s Firstborn Survive Overwhelming Odds

PD TEDx Talk  https://youtu.be/n-NAvN-PLW0


 

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:
In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk messaging, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.
More info on CARE Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/
#CAREMassey #CARECovidLectureSeries #COVID19
#HarnessingDistributedWisdom #PracticeBasedEvidence #ThePositiveDevianceApproach
#CAREMasseyNZ #MasseyCJM #MasseyBusinessSchool #MasseyUni

CARE @ ICA 2020 – 70th Annual ICA Virtual Conference

CARE is proud to share that our social impact in the communication field further complemented by the theoretical and empirical impact. This year at ICA 2020- 70th Annual Conference, CARE has 21 (approximately)papers/panels/presentations slotted. This is a great achievement for CARE which is made possible by the the contributions of CARE’s hard working staff and dedicated researchers all across the globe who have worked collectively to achieve this brilliance.

CARE would like to congratulate and wish you the best for the upcoming ICA Conference in May 2020.

New Frontiers of the Culture-Centered Approach: Interventions Disrupting Structures.
Chairs(s): Christine Elers (Massey University) and Pooja Jayan (University)
Discussant(s): Mohan Jyoti Dutta (University)

Culturally Centering Indigenous Voice
Christine Elers; Mohan Jyoti Dutta; Pooja Jayan; Phoebe Elers; Terri Te Tau

The Culture-Centered Approach for Voice Infrastructures: The Poverty Is Not Our Future Campaign
Steve Elers; Phoebe Elers; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

A Culture-Centered Approach to Health Intervention Amid Farmer Suicides in India
Ashwini Falnikar; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Navigating Health in Low Income Suburban Sites: A Cultured-Centered Project in Aotearoa New Zealand
Phoebe Elers; Terri Te Tau; Mohan Jyoti Dutta; Steve Elers; Pooja Jayan

Meanings of Health Among Migrant Indian Nurses in New Zealand
Pooja Jayan; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Digital Media, Racist Networks of Hate, and Power
Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Decolonizing Epistemicide: When Subaltern Communities Own Knowledge Production Infrastructures
Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Land, Space and the Constitution of Poverty in Suburban Aotearoa New Zealand
Phoebe Elers; Mohan Jyoti Dutta; Steve Elers

Health Misinformation: A Global Threat
Chairs(s): Mohan Jyoti Dutta (Massey University)

A Culture-Centered Approach to Health Intervention Amid Farmer Suicides in India
Ashwini Falnikar; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

A Community-Based Heart Health Intervention: Culture-Centered Study of Low-Income Malays and Heart Health Practices
Satveer Kaur; Mohan Jyoti Dutta; Munirah Bashir

Meanings of Health Among Migrant Indian Nurses in New Zealand
Pooja Jayan; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Theorising Māori Health and Wellbeing: Voices From the Margins
Christine Elers; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

Hindutva 2.0, Digital Transformation and the Re-Imagined Nation
Bipin Sebastian; Mohan Jyoti Dutta

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series-Lecture #4 : COVID, Freud & the Small House at Allington

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series-Lecture #4 : COVID,Freud & the Small House at Allington with Dr. David Hill, M.D, Health Hub Project, New Zealand

Lecture#4:
COVID,Freud & the Small House at Allington
with Dr. David Hill, M.D, Health Hub Project, New Zealand


CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series Lecture 4: COVID, Freud & the Small House at Allington with Dr. David Hill, Health Hub Project, New Zealand
Facebook Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/287868709275072/

Abstract: The Covid pandemic has shown how fragile our illusion of superiority is. It has exposed the failure of our systems to cope with a pandemic, failures driven by policies that have created vast inequalities and inequities in our societies. It has also demonstrated how we use language and the psychology presentation and the use of language to represent truth. The Victorians in their novels, from Dickens, to Trollope and George Eliot used prolix and obfuscation to avoid talking about sex and sexuality, just as Freud focussed on behaviours and their sexual representations so do our current politicians use the same tools of prolix and obfuscation to hide truth and promote self interest and the interest of the oligarchs at the expense of the people they represent.
Health and health care have been used as a political tool for years and it is only at times like this that its vulnerability becomes apparent. The health system is controlled by dysfunctional bureaucracies that do not reflect the psychosocial progress of our society and the need for grass roots movement to renew and deepen our democracy. We cannot change what we do unless our organisations change to reflect our social world. They must be flexible, agile and able to listen, sense and respond to their communities. The presentation will discuss ways this can be achieved.

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:

In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk messaging, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.

More info on CARE Facebook: @CAREMassey & @healthhubprojectNZ

#CAREMassey #CARECovidLectureSeries #COVID19 #HealthHubProjectNZ
#Freud #SmallHouse #Allington #CAREMasseyNZ #MasseyCJM #MasseyBusinessSchool #MasseyUni

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series- Lecture #3: Prejudice and Covid-19: National Similarities and Differences

CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series Lecture 3: Prejudice and Covid-19: National Similarities and Differences with

Prof. Stephen Croucher, Head – School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, Massey University

Lecture#3:
Prejudice and Covid-19: National Similarities and Differences with Prof. Stephen Croucher, Head-School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing Massey University

Abstract:
The Covid-19 outbreak has brought increased incidents of racism, discrimination, and violence against varied minority groups: “Asians” in the United States and many European nations, “ultra Orthodox Jews” in Israel, “Jews” in the Palestinian state, and “foreigners” in some European nations. In the US for example, since January 2020, many Asian Americans have reported suffering racial slurs, wrongful workplace termination, being spat on, physical violence, extreme physical distancing, etc., as media and government officials increasingly stigmatise and blame Asians for the spread of Covid-19. Thus, using integrated threat theory (ITT) as a framework, this discussion explores how prejudice has manifested during the Covid-19 crisis with various minority groups being blamed for virus and its spread. In addition, the discussion will report on preliminary results of an ongoing multi-national study examining prejudice and Covid-19 in the US, Spain, Italy, and New Zealand.

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:
In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk messaging, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.
More info on CARE Website: http://sites.massey.ac.nz/care/
#CAREMassey #CARECovidLectureSeries #Prejudice#COVID19 #MasseyUni

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series Lecture#2: Building & sustaining equality with Prof. Mohan Dutta

Lecture#2: Solidarities among communities, activists, unions, movements and academics: Building & sustaining equality with Prof. Mohan Dutta, Director CARE

Facebook Livestream link – https//www.facebook.com/events/224911882146831/

Abstract:
What does the practical work of building infrastructures for communicative equality look like? COVID19 has made visible the entrenched inequalities across the globe that are systematically erased. Moreover, its trajectory as well as the interventions created to address it have further exacerbated inequalities within societies. In this backdrop, what does the ongoing work of building and sustaining communicative equality look like? This talk will outline the concept of solidarity as a framework for organizing relationships among academics, activists, unions, movements, and communities. It will argue that solidarity works as a de-centering anchor, one that destabilizes the hegemonic categories of knowledge production, instead placing the labour of theory work amidst the struggles for equality. Based on the various forms of activist interventions carried out by CARE, I will examine the various strategies for building and sustaining solidarities, focusing on the necessary work of transforming the academe amid COVID19.

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:
In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk messaging, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.
More info on CARE Website: http://sites.massey.ac.nz/care/
#CAREMassey #CARECovidLectureSeries #CommunicativeEquality #COVID19 #MasseyUni

Time Magazine says:’ Singapore Was a Coronavirus Success Story—Until an Outbreak Showed How Vulnerable Workers Can Fall Through the Cracks’

BY HILLARY LEUNG  APRIL 29, 2020 Article Source: https://time.com/5825261/singapore-coronavirus-migrant-workers-inequality/

SINGAPORE – APRIL 18: Migrant workers can be seen in the Cochrane Lodge II, a purpose-built migrant workers dormitory that has been gazetted as an isolation area on April 18, 2020 in Singapore. (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

Since mid-March, Asadul Alam Asif has watched nervously as Singapore reported more and more COVID-19 cases in migrant workers’ dormitories like the one where he lives.

The 28-year-old Bangladeshi technician counted himself lucky each day that nobody was infected in his housing block, where around 1,900 workers reside in cramped conditions that make social distancing impossible. To relieve congestion, Asif’s company rehoused some people, which left half of the 16 bunk-beds in his small room empty.

But then, one day last week, seven people in Asif’s dorm tested positive.

He received a text message instructing all residents on the fifth and sixth floors—including him—not to leave their rooms.

“All of us slept very late that night, like 1 or 2 a.m.,” he told TIME by phone. “We were all so worried.”

Asif is one of the more than 200,000 foreign workers living in Singapore’s dormitories, where often 10 to 20 men are packed into a single room. Built to house the workers who power the construction, cleaning and other key industries, these utilitarian complexes on the city-state’s periphery have become hives of infection, revealing a blind spot in Singapore’s previously vaunted coronavirus response.

As of April 28, these dorms were home to 85% of Singapore’s 14,951 cases.

Singapore Prime Ministers announcement: Singapore Extends Coronavirus Lockdown for Another Month

https://time.com/5825261/singapore-coronavirus-migrant-workers-inequality/?playlistVideoId=6151208575001

“The dormitories were like a time bomb waiting to explode,” Singapore lawyer Tommy Koh wrote in a widely circulated Facebook post earlier this month. “The way Singapore treats its foreign workers is not First World but Third World.”

As the coronavirus continues its insidious spread, Singapore’s outbreak suggests the danger of overlooking any population. Even when containment efforts appear to succeed in flattening the curve, keeping it that way remains a difficult, relentless endeavor.

“If we forget marginalized communities, if we forget the poor, the homeless, the incarcerated… we are going to continue to see outbreaks,” says Gavin Yamey, Associate Director for Policy at the Duke Global Health Institute. “This will continue to fuel our epidemic.”

A healthcare worker dressed in personal protective equipment collects a nasal swab sample from a migrant worker for testing for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus at a foreign workers’ domitory in Singapore on April 27, 2020. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Essential workers

The world’s estimated 164 million migrant laborers are particularly vulnerable both to the disease and to its economic fallout. Their risk of infection is compounded by factors like overcrowded living quarters, hazardous working conditions, low pay and often limited access to social protections.

“Migrants are likely to be the hardest hit,” says Cristina Rapone, a rural employment and migration specialist at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

For undocumented workers, the threat of the virus is even higher. “They might not seek healthcare because they may risk being deported,” Rapone says.

In the Gulf, a wealthy region dependent upon blue collar labor from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, the virus has also ripped through migrant worker housing. Figures from Kuwait, the U.A.E. and Bahrain suggest the majority of cases have been among foreigners, many of whom live in unsanitary work camps, the Guardian reports.

Migrant workers with insecure, informal or seasonal jobs also tend to be among the first to be let go in a crisis. When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hastily announced an impending nationwide lockdown in March, hundreds of thousands of internal migrant workers suddenly found themselves unemployed and homeless, forced to flee the cities en masse. The arduous journeys back to their villages—some reportedly walking as much as 500 miles—were made worse by the stigma of being seen as both patients and carriers of the virus.

Indian migrant workers from the Indian state of Maharashtra walk along a National Highway 44 to reach their hometowns during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus on the outskirts of Hyderabad on April (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

“There is increasing risk that migrants returning to rural areas face discrimination and stigmatization, because they are said to be carrying or spreading the virus,” says Rapone. FAO staff in Asia and Latin America have reported such cases, she adds.

Yet the spread of the coronavirus has also revealed just how much of the “essential work” depends on migrants, from the medical sector to deliveries to the global food supply.

In the U.S., about half of the farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the Department of Agriculture. Classified as essential workers, they continue to toil in fields, orchards and packing plants across the nation, even as much of the economy is shut down. Limited access to healthcare, cramped living and working conditions, and even a reported lack of soap on some farms can put them at high risk of contracting the virus.

“Globally, we’re very dependent on migrants to fill up jobs that are absolutely essential to sustain our economies,” says Mohan Dutta, a professor who studies the intersection of poverty and health at Massey University in New Zealand. He adds that health authorities need to do more to protect them.

A ‘hidden backbone’

Singapore’s outbreak highlights what can happen if some of the lowest paid and most vulnerable people in society go unnoticed during the health crisis. After reporting single-digit daily caseloads in February, the island nation of 5.6 million now has the highest number of reported COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia.

This month, cases began surging past 1,000 per day, and almost all the patients were migrant workers.

“The government was really focused on fighting COVID-19 on two battlefronts: community transmission and imported cases,” says Jeremy Lim, co-director of global health at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. “But it overlooked the vulnerabilities of this third front that’s now glaringly obvious to everyone.”

Singapore’s 1.4 million foreign workers make up about one-third of the country’s total workforce, according to government figures. Most of the low-wage workers are from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and other countries.

Advocacy group Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) calls them the “hidden backbone” of Singapore society.

“Everything you see as development, [like] the building sector, the marine sector—all this depends very, very much on migrant workers,” says Christine Pelly, an Executive Committee member of TWC2. “Their contribution permeates throughout society in a very necessary and essential way.”

Migrant workers, Dutta adds, are an invisible community in Singapore. Their dormitories are located on the outskirts of the city and on their rest days, they congregate in districts like Little India and Chinatown, where ethnic food shops and money remittances are located. Due to fear of losing their jobs, many do not complain about their living and working conditions.

“Not only are they unseen, but their voices are also unheard,” says Dutta.

A migrant worker wearing protective face mask has his temperature checked by a security guard before leaving a factory-converted dormitory on April 17, 2020 in Singapore. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 140,000 lives and infecting more than 2 million people. (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

TWC2 says it has spent years trying to call the government’s attention to the cramped and dirty dormitory conditions that now pose a grave public health threat. Government regulations stipulate that each occupant be allotted 4.5 square meters (about 48 square feet) of living space, meaning that rooms for 20 people can be as small as 960 square feet, while facilities like bathrooms, kitchens and common rooms are shared.

Some dorms now have hundreds of cases. One of them, the sprawling S11 complex, has over 2,200. Nizam, a 28-year-old Bangladeshi, moved out of S11 after his roommate tested positive earlier this month. He was transferred to a quarantine center.

“One hundred and seventy people share [a] common washroom, kitchen and the room where we eat,” the construction worker says. “Everything is shared. That’s why the virus is spreading like that.”

Besides the dormitories, rights groups have also sounded the alarm on the trucks that ferry migrants to and from work in the gleaming city center. Workers, usually about a dozen or more, are typically packed shoulder to shoulder in the open backs of lorries.

Pivoting strategies

Singapore is scrambling to neutralize the ballooning crisis by locking down the dorms and trying to space out residents.

“This is Singapore’s largest humanitarian public health crisis ever. So the logistics of moving thousands of people, feeding and separating them is not at all straightforward,” says Lim, who also volunteers to help migrant workers.

Around 10,000 workers have been moved out of their dormitories and into vacant housing blocks and military camps. Medical personnel have been stationed at dorms to carry out “aggressive testing,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an April 21 address.

Dormitory residents have been instructed to stop working. The government has said employers must continue to pay their migrant workers during that period, and that testing and treatment will be free.

While workers are being provided three meals a day and free wifi, they are completely dependent on handouts. Workers TIME spoke with say they have not been allowed to leave their dorms, not even to buy groceries or other necessities.

Their treatment also contrasts with the four and five-star hotels that the government has paid to house Singaporeans returning from overseas, fueling criticism of further inequities.

A warning from Singapore

As migrant workers endure the brunt of Singapore’s outbreak, observers say the situation should serve as a reminder for other countries to pay attention to vulnerable residents, especially those for whom social distancing is a luxury.

“They need to be spread out, but they also need to have access to basic infrastructures like ventilation, clean toilets, adequate supply of water, adequate cleaning supplies,” says Dutta, the New Zealand professor.

Seeking to blunt the economic repercussions of the pandemic, many countries are now rushing to restart their economies. Several states in the U.S. have started reopening this week, while in Germany and France schools and businesses are making plans to resume.

But Dutta cautioned against loosening restrictions before ensuring vulnerable groups have access to basic sanitation and decent accommodation. Infections among marginalized communities, if not properly contained, could increase the risk for the entire population, he warns.

“Inequalities are the breeding grounds for pandemics,” he says. “Countries absolutely have to learn [from Singapore] before it’s too late.”

Article & Image Source:
https://time.com/5825261/singapore-coronavirus-migrant-workers-inequality/

CARE Covid19 Lecture Series-Lecture #1 : Communicative Equality & Covid19

CARE COVID 19 Lecture Series Lecture 1 : Communicative Equality and COVID 19 with Prof. Mohan Dutta

Live Stream link- https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/239562410577249/

The first lecture of the series, delivered by Dean’s Chair Professor and Director of CARE Mohan J. Dutta, will examine one of the key concepts of the culture-centered approach, communicative equality. We will explore the ways in which communicative equality plays out amidst COVID19, materializing the fault lines of the pandemic and offering radically transformative anchors for re-organizing human health and wellbeing.

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:
In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk messaging, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.
More info on CAREMassey Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/239562410577249/
#CAREMassey#CARECovidLectureSeries#CommunicativeEquality#COVID19#MasseyUni

Press Release: CARE AND HOME: New Study On Covid 19 Behaviours Reveals Systemic Challenges Low Facing Wage Migrant Workers Exprience

The Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University is partnering with the migrant rights NGO Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) to jointly release the second white paper on the health of low-wage migrant workers in Singapore to understand the realities of the affected workers better. The study was conducted by CARE and draws on 101 usable survey responses. The white paper outlines the specific challenges experienced by the migrant workers in staying safe, such as practising responsible social distancing, and offers recommendations for solutions.  Please click the link for the joint release statement. The white paper is available below.


CARE News: Researchers reveal COVID-19 concern for Singapore’s migrant workers

Article Source: Massey News

Researchers from the Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) have uncovered Singapore’s large migrant community is experiencing clusters of COVID-19, due to cramped migrant worker dormitories.


An image of a worker from CARE’s migrant worker project in Singapore. Copyright CARE.

Professor Mohan Dutta has been conducting a digital ethnography (participant observations and informal interviews) in Bengali and English, supported by in-depth interviews with low-wage migrant workers. His research has found, although the dormitories are now in lockdown, the workers are unable to maintain physical distancing because of the cramped living conditions, leading to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Professor Dutta, who has been interviewed by The Guardian and the South China Morning Post about the issue, says the workers expressed anxiety about the rapid pace with which the outbreak was unfolding in their dormitories. Singapore’s Ministry of Health reported 1111 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, making a total of 9125, with the migrant worker dormitories emerging as the epicentres of the outbreak. Some 1050 of the 1111 new cases reported on Tuesday were among work permit holders residing in dormitories.

“My earlier work conducted with Singapore’s low-wage migrant workers highlighted the poor living conditions and food insecurity they experienced. These conditions, alongside the lack of worker rights and the absence of spaces for workers to voice their demands, are breeding grounds for the pandemic,” he says.

Singapore has 200,000 workers who live in 43 dormitories across the country, the largest of which holds 24,000 men. The dormitories have been declared isolation units by officials, making them more crowded than usual as only essential workers may leave. 

One participant in the study noted they were unable to keep a one-metre distance from one another as their room has 20 people living in it. Another worker said, “They are saying you need to do those things, washing hands and not go outside together. There’s no point when there are so many workers in a room.”

 The CARE research team is currently conducting a follow-up quantitative study exploring everyday experiences of health and wellbeing among low-wage migrant workers. The initial findings of this study, conducted with 100 low-wage migrant workers, further crystallise the qualitative findings regarding overcrowding, poor toilet facilities and lack of water. The study also reveals overarching feelings of fear and depression among the workers.


An image of workers from CARE’s migrant worker project in Singapore. Copyright CARE.

CARE is a research centre that uses participatory and culture-centred methodologies to develop community-driven com­munication solutions, and has been responding to COVID-19 through its community advisory groups, community workshops, and community researchers.

“The communities we have been working in have been creatively developing a wide range of interventions, community-based resources for support, community-driven advocacy and activist solutions addressing the political and economic challenges foregrounded by COVID-19,” Professor Dutta says.

CARE is also working with 27 communities in rural West Bengal to develop self-organised networks of mutual care. The community advisory group networks have identified the most in-need households in the communities, and have developed culturally-centred food packages (rice, potatoes and daal, considered staple food in this part of India) to be delivered to the most at-need households. The centre is also responding to the distribution of fake news circulated over digital platforms, with community advisory groups working with community researchers to debunk disinformation.

In New Zealand, CARE has developed a network of community support in Highbury, Palmerston North, to address the needs of community members at the “margins of the margins”. It has identified the most in-need households in the communities and developed culturally-centred food packages to meet community needs. The advisory group meets digitally to develop strategies and solutions.

CARE also created the Manawatū Health Information Hub to provide information and raise key information gaps in the community. The information gaps uncovered so far include the availability of testing, financial support and pricing, and have shaped CARE white papers, contributing to its advocacy work. Currently, CARE is collaborating with the Health Hub Project New Zealand to develop a culture-centred, community-grounded framework for community testing.

CARE White Paper Issue 8: Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

Responding to the continued rise in COVID19 clusters in migrant worker dormitories in Singapore, and building on earlier research (See CARE White paper Issue 6), this White Paper reports on the findings of a survey conducted with low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. In addition to the poor living conditions highlighted earlier, the structural constraints on preventive behavior are explored. Drawing on the key tenets of the culture-centered approach, the research highlights the powerful role of structural factors such as arrangements of dormitories, the absence of hygienic conditions because of the structures, the lack of clean toilets, pressure on limited toilets, and scarcity of water. The findings highlight the challenges to mental health and wellbeing experienced by the workers. Moreover, it points to the absence of voice infrastructures, and the ways in which this absence contributes to conditions that are rife for the pandemic. Solutions for structural solutions and voice democracy are offered.

Dutta, M. J. (2020, April). Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19. CARE White Papers, 8. http://carecca.nz/2020/04/22/care-white-paper-issue-8-structural-constraints-voice-infrastructures-and-mental-health-among-low-wage-migrant-workers-in-singapore-solutions-for-addressing-covid19/

CARE NEWS: Singapore’s cramped migrant worker dorms hide Covid-19 surge risk says The Guardian

City-state has been lauded for its comprehensive measures but officials have been accused of overlooking key group


 Foreign workers wearing protective masks queue for free meals in Singapore Photograph: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Singapore, praised for its gold standard approach to tracing coronavirus cases, is facing a surge in transmission linked to its cramped migrant workers’ dormitories, where thousands more infections are expected to emerge.

The health ministry reported 728 new cases on Thursday, the biggest rise in a single day, as medical teams raced to test and isolate workers living in vast dormitory blocks.

While Singapore has been lauded for its rapid and comprehensive approach to contract tracing, officials have been accused of overlooking the dormitories, where thousands of workers live in close quarters and between 12 and 20 men might share a single room.

In March the campaign group Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) urged officials to make plans to protect workers, warning: “The risk of a new cluster among this group remains undeniable.” Authorities are resorting to moving men to multi-storey car parks, military camps and floating hotels in an attempt to reduce crowding.

Mohan Dutta, a professor at Massey University in New Zealand, who has interviewed 45 migrant workers in Singapore since the outbreak began, said many feared an outbreak was inevitable due to the conditions.

“Participants told me that even up until Monday they don’t have access to soap and adequate cleaning supplies,” he said. While migrants were being served food so that they did not use shared kitchens, the quality of meals was poor and lacking in nutrition. In some cases 100 men were sharing five toilets and five showers.

Nine dormitories, the biggest of which holds 24,000 men, have been declared isolation units by officials, while all other buildings accommodating the city-state’s 300,000 workers have been placed under effective lockdown. The restrictions, an attempt to reduce further transmission, have left the dormitories even more crowded than usual as only essential workers are permitted to leave.

One construction worker, from Bangladesh, told the Guardian there were long queues to use shared bathrooms which often did not have enough water for the showers or toilets to function.

No one in his dormitory had yet tested positive, he said, but some people had temperatures of 38C. “In my room and other rooms also there are many [with] symptoms, some feel [they have] no energy, someone has body aches,” he said. “We are frightened.”

Foreign workers are seen outside their dormitory rooms at Cochrane Lodge II in Singapore Photograph: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

The government said it had increased cleaning services in the dormitories, which are usually privately operated, and was providing meals to workers and moving people to alternative accommodation.Advertisement

Professor Dale Fisher, a senior consultant in infectious diseases at Singapore’s National University Hospital, said medical teams had moved from hospitals to test people on site quickly. “If we don’t stop it there the hospitals will get overwhelmed.”

It was likely that thousands more cases would be discovered, Fisher said. “[The men] are all 30 to 40 years old, which is good, but still when you’re dealing with these massive numbers you’re going to get a good number of sick 30 to 40-year-olds.

“The risk [relating to migrant worker dormitories] is completely different and the preparation and the anticipation wasn’t there.

“The message to other places is, if you have an overcrowded setting it is just so vulnerable,” Fisher said, pointing to slum areas in countries such as India. “When people say India’s shutdown has been extended – I can’t think of anything other than shutting down. It’s like the only defence you’ve got.”

The second wave of cases in Singapore has brought the total number of infections to 4,427 including 10 deaths. Fisher said he was not aware of any fatalities among migrant worker clusters but these typically were not recorded until a later date.

Singapore’s migrant workers, who are largely from India and Bangladesh, are an essential part of the work force. Many toil for long hours on the country’s construction sites, building its skyscrapers and shopping malls, so that they can send money to relatives back home.

It is not uncommon for workers, who have temporary contracts and are dependent upon their employers for work permits, to be paid less than promised. Workers might be promised as much as S$1,200 per month, but typically receive anything between S$500-750, according to Dutta. The workers pay large sums in agency fees to work in Singapore and are often reluctant to complain for fear of being deported.

Workers’ dormitories are on the outskirts of the city-state, which, Dutta said, “makes them in many ways invisible to the landscape of Singapore”.

Article Source

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/17/singapores-cramped-migrant-worker-dorms-hide-covid-19-surge-risk#maincontent

CARE White Paper Issue 7: April 2020- Culture-centered community-led testing

Culture-centered community-led testing

by Gayle Moana – Johnson, CARE – Community Research Assistant and Mohan J. Dutta, Director,Center for Culture – centered Approach to Research & Evaluation Massey University

In this white paper, the community advisory group in Highbury, working with community researcher Gayle Moana-Johnson, developed the key conceptual guidelines for culture-centered community-grounded testing. The white paper highlights the key concepts anchoring the partnership between the community advisory group and the clinical team at HHPNZ

This white paper outlines the key principles of culture-centered community-led testing that are voiced by the advisory group of community members in Highbury, anchored in the principle of representing the most “in-need” members of the community (referred in the rest of this white paper as the “margins of the margins”). The key ideas in this white paper are developed as anchoring principles for the partnership between the community advisory group and the Health Hub Project New Zealand (HHPNZ).

Moana-Johnson, G., & Dutta, M. J. (2020, April). Culture-centered community-led testing. CARE White Papers, 7. http://carecca.nz/2020/04/17/care-white-paper-issue-7-april-2020-culture-centered-community-led-testing/

CARE White Paper Research News – Coronavirus: Singapore migrant worker dormitories still hot topic as Covid-19 cases rise

A migrant worker looks out from a window of his Singapore dormitory. Photo: AFP

Published: 14 April 2020 by Kok Xinghui and Bhavan Jaipragas,
South China Morning Post

  • The island nation’s authorities have corrected course after appearing to be caught off guard by the logistical scale of quarantining nearly 200,000 workers
  • But their living conditions, care and the quality of food provided have remained controversial points of discussion

Singapore’s army of migrant workers remains in sharp focus amid expectations that a surge in Covid-19 infections in the tightly packed mega-dormitories that house them will continue in the short term, even as locally transmitted cases among the rest of the island state’s population show signs of easing.

The health ministry on Monday night announced 386 new confirmed infections – the highest daily surge so far. 280 of the new cases were foreign workers. With the latest increase, some 40 per cent of the country’s current total of 2,918 cases are work permit holders employed in low-wage jobs shunned by locals, such as construction.

Authorities have rapidly corrected course after appearing early last week to be caught off guard by the scale of logistical work required for them to quarantine the nearly 200,000 workers who live in 43 dormitories across the country.

Even so, accounts from activists as well as a prominent migrant rights researcher who conducted online interviews with dozens of the quarantined workers suggest improvements are needed to help them get through the isolation period.


Singapore migrant workers under quarantine as coronavirus hits dormitories

All dormitory residents are currently barred from leaving their accommodation, while the residents of eight of these dormitories cannot leave their rooms amid tighter restrictions owing to community transmission in their buildings.

In the latest move, Singaporean officials are gearing up to move some healthy workers from their dormitories to floating accommodation on vessels typically used by employees of the country’s marine and offshore sector.

The government has also announced plans to house some of these healthy workers in empty public housing flats, military camps, and multistorey car parks and void decks in public housing estates currently under construction. Military personnel, including doctors and logistics staff, have been deployed to the dormitories.


A view of the S11@Punggol foreign worker dormitory in Singapore. Photo: EPA

National development minister Lawrence Wong, the co-chair of the country’s Covid-19 ministerial task force, in a Facebook post on Sunday said community transmission in the country as a whole was moderating. Singapore is under a month-long partial lockdown described by the government as a “circuit breaker”.

But “the number of work-permit and dormitory-related cases has increased sharply, and this is likely to continue going up, especially as we undertake more aggressive testing of workers at the dormitories”, he wrote.

“As I had shared earlier, we have a comprehensive strategy to take care of our foreign workers and contain the virus in the dorms. This will take some time, but we are going all out to tackle this.”

Jeremy Lim, an adjunct associate professor with the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said the latest data showed the contrasting situations of local residents and foreign workers.

“The government was focused on the Singapore population and left the worker measures to the dormitory operators and employers. This, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, was insufficient; the [dormitory] operators and employers couldn’t cope and hence the challenges faced now,” said Lim, who also chairs the medical services committee at HealthServe, a non-profit organisation offering health services to migrant workers.

The living conditions of workers in the dormitories – a subject of heated debate last week – remains a national talking point. The Ministry of Manpower came under fire last week after reports of some of the dormitories’ filthy conditions, which were exacerbated by the quarantine as all residents were indoors throughout the day.

Some workers – many of whom cook their own meals despite their long hours – also complained about the quality of food catered for them.

Since then, cleaning has been considerably stepped up, according to media releases by the ministry. It also released video interviews of the workers saying conditions were better, while photos circulating online of the workers’ meals also showed a marked improvement.

This Week in Asia understands there are special plans to give the workers a festive cheer on Tuesday to mark the Tamil New Year and the Bengali New Year.


A migrant worker is attended to by personnel from Singapore’s Academy of Medicine. Photo: Reuters

Still, the lockdown conditions are causing a strain on the workers, going by a study by Mohan Dutta, a New Zealand-based professor who has conducted extensive research on Singapore’s migrant workers.

In a white paper published on Monday, Dutta released findings from 45 hours of digital ethnography – or interviews – conducted with the workers online. The 43 interviews in a mixture of Bengali and English were conducted between April 7 and Monday.

Dutta wrote that “multiple participants refer to feelings of depression when discussing their living arrangements”.

Participants also disputed the reported improvement in the quality of food. Some said the price of the catered food was now S$140 (US$99) per month – S$20 (US$14) more than usual – and described the poor fare as “cruelty”.

“Moreover, our advisory group members note that in spite of the media attention to food and the stories about improvement in the quality of food, they are continuing to be served poor quality food,” the University of Massey professor wrote.

Activist Kokila Annamalai, writing on Facebook on Monday, said “despite some improvements, we’re a long way off from doing enough for migrant workers as Covid-19 cases mount in the community”. Based on conversations with workers and rights groups, she flagged several concerns including fears about mass lay-offs; non-payment or arrears of wages; and difficulty in obtaining medical attention for non-coronavirus ailments.

Local migrant worker advocacy group TWC2 has compared the workers’ situation to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, on which 3,711 passengers and crew were quarantined and more than 700 people eventually infected with Covid-19.

“When social distancing in dorm rooms with 12-20 men per room is effectively impossible, should one worker in a room be infected – and he could be asymptomatic – the repeated contact he has with his roommates because of confinement would heighten the risk to his roommates. The infection rate in the dorm could increase dramatically,” the group said.

Luke Tan, the case work manager for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, said workers who lived in “converted industrial dorms or unlicensed dorms” might be falling under the radar when it came to testing for Covid-19, the availability of protective gear as well as food and salary payments.

“We know sooner or later the authorities will reach them but would it be too late?” he said.

The Ministry of Manpower in a statement on Monday said it had inspected over 600 factory-converted dormitories over the past three days, with minor lapses found in 57 locations.

Elsewhere, an op-ed piece in local Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao about the workers’ current circumstances drew sharp reactions, with the writer questioning whether workers cleaned kitchens and toilets themselves or if they relied on cleaners.

“If personal hygiene habits don’t improve, sanitation standards will not change no matter where they go,” wrote the writer, adding that the government had already done a good job.


Police officers enter the gate of a dormitory compound for foreign workers placed under quarantine to battle the spread of Covid-19. Photo: AFP

Reacting to a Facebook post translating the article, several people voiced their disappointment at that viewpoint, decrying it as “classist”. TWC2 had earlier said that structural constraints such as design of space, density, and the work hours of the workers played a part in the dormitories’ cleanliness. “It’s no use pontificating from a middle-class distance,” the non-profit said.

The embassies of countries with large numbers of workers in Singapore are offering assistance to their respective citizens. A large proportion of the city state’s 981,000 work permit holders are drawn from China, Bangladesh and India.The Chinese embassy in a statement on Saturday said it was “putting the health of Chinese workers living in the foreign worker dormitories as a priority”, adding that it was delivering essential supplies including some 20,000 masks to 1,800 of its nationals.

The High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Singapore, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, in a video address to his country’s nationals working in Singapore, offered reassurances about salary payment, medical benefits and the provision of meals during the quarantine period.

“You should obey all the health measures instructed by the Singapore government, it will be good for you and all of us,” he said.

Additional reporting by Dewey Sim

Article Link: Coronavirus: Singapore migrant worker dormitories still hot topic as Covid-19 cases rise

Source:www.scmp.com

CARE White Paper Issue 6: Infrastructures of housing and food for low-wage migrant workers in Singapore

Courtesy Julio Etchart as part of CARE’s “Respect Migrant Rights” campaign in Singapore

The high incidence of COVID-19 cases in dormitories housing low-wage migrant workers in Singapore makes visible the structural challenges of poor housing and food. Building on CARE’s ongoing work with low-wage migrant workers in Singapore, this white paper presents imaginaries for healthy housing and food voiced by low-wage migrant workers.

CARE OPED: COVID19 – The Time For Communicative Leadership: Lessons from Aotearoa

MOHAN J.DUTTA | 4 APRIL, 2020

New Zealand shows the way


Communicative leadership is anchored in the idea of communication as community, communication as both the primordial source of community, and communication as a resource in manifesting community. Communication forms the infrastructure of community.

Be it in its local manifestation, in its national articulation of a collective identity, or in its global networks in response to crises, community is built on communication.

Communication as communion brings together participants in spaces, creating the basis of shared values, shared meanings, and shared actions. It is through the fundamental work of communication as bridging, as bringing people together, as creating the basis of dialogue, as creating the framework for forming and sustaining relationships that we come to realize communities.

It shouldn’t take a pandemic to make evident the powerful role of communication as constitutive of community, locally, nationally, and globally. Also, it shouldn’t take a pandemic to recognize the urgency of principled communication, one that is anchored in the search for truth, in transparency, in dialogue, and in democracy.

And yet, we are here.

Globally we are in the midst of a pandemic because of communicative failures at multiple layers of leadership across the globe, from authoritarian regimes that worked hard to hide the initial information about the epidemic, to opaque global institutions that are co-opted by the agendas of authoritarian regimes, to neo-fascist political parties that have taken over some of the world’s largest democracies, driven to power by their manipulative campaigns that thrive on hate and division.

The failure of much of global leadership to respond to the pandemic, to develop preventive resources, to create and sustain health infrastructures, and to care for communities is fundamentally the failure of communication.

Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, Narendra Modi, Boris Johnson, globally we are witnessing the implications of communicative failures across nation states. Each of these men have risen to power through the deployment of communication as an instrument of hate.

Trump draws his power from simplistic narratives of the “outsider threat,” which forms the infrastructure of his “Make America Great Again” campaign. It is no surprise then that he finds refuge in the “Chinese virus,” triggering a wide range of anti-Asian incidents of hate in the U.S.

Modi’s popular appeal thrives on the use of hate to prop up an imaginary of a Hindu India, built precisely through the exclusion of its Muslim other. For a political project that was right until the COVID19 outbreak orchestrating the xenophobic exclusion of India’s Muslims through its National Registry of Citizens, it is no surprise that the COVID19 threat would be catalysed to orchestrate Islamophobia.

Driven by the deployment of communication as propaganda, U.S., Brazil, India, and U.K. have witnessed the pitfalls of communicative failure in the backdrop of COVID19. Communication, in its utter ugliness, thrives on circulating propaganda on one hand. On the other hand, it systematically obfuscates the failure in governance, the absence of basic public health and welfare infrastructures, and the abject failure of the state to care for its poor and underclasses.

In the midst of this evident failure in leadership in some of the largest democracies across the globe, it is humbling to witness a model of communicative leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand that is anchored in care, transparent communication, social justice, and democracy.

The face of the New Zealand response is the Prime Minister, a student and adept practitioner of communication as communion.

From the initial days of the sharing of the state’s COVID19 response to the ongoing lockdown that the country is witnessing, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appears on the screen at least once or twice a day. Her daily briefings to the press are fed through a wide range of broadcast and new media. You witness a leader that takes the care to respond to the most difficult of questions, supported by accurate information grounded in scientific knowledge, and sincerely committed to transparency. If there are questions she does not have the information on, she states so openly and with clarity.

Communicative leadership is transparent, this is one of the first lessons we learn from the response in Aotearoa.

Communicative leadership is evident in the clarity and preparation with which the lockdown was implemented in Aotearoa. Each of the different levels of response to COVID19 were explained with clarity, along with the specific behaviors being recommended in each of the levels. The message with the behavioral recommendation was simple and is repeated multiple times across channels. The Minister of Health and the Director General of Health communicated information clearly about the number of cases, the status of the cases, and the steps being taken to “flatten the curve.” A dedicated Government website communicates the information clearly and with daily updates.

In addition to her meetings with the Press, the Prime Minister draws on her highly popular Facebook live platform to participate in conversations. She takes the time to read questions and directly respond to them, often getting online from home in an informal setting.

Her responses are not mediated by public relations teams or crisis consultants.

This is communicative leadership in action, authentic in its dialogic potential. It is this very authenticity that forms the basis of community, a key part of the Prime Minister’s ongoing message to New Zealanders, to do what New Zealanders do best: respond to COVID19 as a community, caring for each other, and taking care of each other.

Care also forms the basis of a strategy that incrementally moved into the lockdown. An initial level 3 alert gave people an opportunity to prepare, before the level 4 lockdown was implemented. During this period, there was ample communication about the evidence driving the decisions, the basis of the decisions, the explanations for the behaviors being recommended, and the support available to enable the behavior.

Care and social justice form the basis of the Labour-led response strategy in Aotearoa. The lockdown has been supported with state-driven financial support for employees, with paid leave support given to organizations to ensure job security. Similarly, policies have targeted rents to be paid during the lockdown. The Minister of Finance often accompanies the Prime Minister in communicating the financial policies being put into place for support. Anchoring these policies in justice ensures that the rights of workers and low-income communities are at the forefront of the conversation.

The strong presence of Māori culture in Aotearoa shapes the state’s response to kaumātua (the aging members of communities) with care, ensuring their wellbeing is placed at the heart of the response. Communities across Aotearoa reflect this communicative leadership in local spaces, responding with mutual aid and support for each other. Communities of care anchored in mutuality hold up communicative leadership.

That robust democracies are integral to COVID19 response means that there ought to be ample room for plural voices, for questions to be raised, and for evidence to be shared based on experiences in communities to shape a climate of dialogue. In our work at the Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) in Aotearoa, this opening for ongoing dialogue based on community voice is perhaps one of the strongest elements of communicative leadership. Even as we develop advocacy papers based on questions emerging from communities, we often find that the issues we raise have already been addressed at a rapid pace.

Democracies depend on their abilities to listen to the people that own them. We witness in the COVID19 response in Aotearoa this accountability to the people, supporting a flexible infrastructure that is continually responsive to the pandemic and its changing nature.

Certainly there are ongoing challenges as the state responds to the changing numbers and scale of the pandemic. A communicative leadership has the robust capability to respond to these ongoing challenges because it is based on the recognition of the fundamental role of communication in making our communities and in sustaining them.

In an earlier OpEd, I wrote about COVID19 offering us a window into imagining new ways of organizing our communities, democracies, and the earth. Communicative leadership is a key ingredient in this work of imagination.

Article Source: The Time For Communicative Leadership Lessons from Aotearoa

MOHAN J.DUTTA | 4 APRIL, 2020

Follow us on : Facebook: @CAREMassey

Twitter: @CAREMasseyNZ


 

CARE White Paper Issue 4: March 2020

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Package

by Christine Elers (Ngā Hau), Junior Research Officer, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation (CARE)

We are writing about the government’s covid-19 wage subsidy package, in particular:

  • the sick leave payment due to be folded into the modified covid-19 wage subsidy package; and
  • the online publication outlining the names of all employers who have received the covid-19 wage subsidy package.

CARE Expresses Its Solidarity with our Activist-In-Residence Jolovan Wham

CARE’s Activist-in-Residence Jolovan Wham has surrendered himself to serve a 1 week jail sentence today, March 31 2020, for criticising Singapore’s judiciary.

In his statement posted on Facebook, Jolovan voiced:

“I’m doing this in lieu of a 5k fine because I do not recognise the legitimacy of the judgment and the law, both of which are unjust.

It should never be an offence to speak your truth. Decades of oppression and persecution have resulted in the normalisation of fear. It is so normalised that we have become indifferent to injustice, especially political injustice and threats to our civil rights. We have shrugged it off so much that over time, we’ve become numb to it, instead of feeling outraged.

If we can’t speak up, assemble freely, and campaign without looking over our shoulders, the reforms we want can only be done on the terms of those in power. We will have to wait for when they are ready. All this could take years, decades, or never at all. Or we can only pick issues which are considered ‘low hanging fruit.

All the levers of change are controlled and those who don’t follow the script are persecuted. We are so muted, we can only plead, but never make our demands as equals.

Acts of non-violent resistance and disobedience has to be one of the tools we use to open up our already shrinking civil and political space and to empower ourselves. It often starts with one person, or a small group of people, but over time, with persistence and repetition of action, the space will enlarge and we will progress, one step at a time.

We need to speak our truths, and to do so, we should refuse to fear. I refuse to be complicit in the diminishment of my spirit: resistance is no longer a choice in a system determined to de-humanise you.

There should be a role for those who not only negotiate the boundaries but transgress them. Not everyone can take this position and I understand those who can’t because the costs may be high; my privilege, on the other hand, allows me to take greater risks, and for that I am grateful.”

Sharing below an interview conducted by Professor Mohan Dutta with Jolovan on the topic of authoritarian repression and strategies for social change. Also sharing Jolovan’s public talk as activist-in-residence at CARE. CARE stands with you in solidarity, because as you say so eloquently, “Those of us who can risk it, should. Those who can’t, should show their support, because solidarity is the first step to change.”

A Conversation with Jolovan Wham, CARE Activist-in-Residence

Professor Mohan J Dutta sits down with CARE Activist-in-Residence Jolovan Wham about his work in Singapore

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Monday, 25 November 2019
Public Talk with Jolovan Wham

First World Authoritarianism: Lessons from SingaporeTune in for this exciting public talk with CARE Activist-in-Residence Jolovan Wham!

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Tuesday, 26 November 2019

CARE OPED: COVID19 – India’s Underclasses and the Depravity of Our Unequal Societies

What COVID19 makes visible


Article: COVID19 – India’s Underclasses and the Depravity of Our Unequal Societies

“It takes a pandemic to render visible the deep inequalities that make up the highly unequal societies we inhabit. As pandemics go, the power of COVID19 lies in its mobility, along the circuits of global capital, picked up and carried by the upwardly mobile classes feeding the financial and technology hubs of capital.

The irony of neoliberal globalization lies in the disproportionate burden of accelerated mobilities borne by the bodies of the poor at the global margins. The poor, whose bodies are the sites of neoliberal extraction, are also the bodies to be easily discarded when crises hit.

The images of throngs of people, the poor, now expelled from their spaces of precarious work at the metropolitan centers of financial and technology capital, spaces that are projected as the poster-models of mobility in development propaganda, walking on the long walk home, are circulating across our mobile screens.

Images of a migrant worker dead after the gruelling walk home, a mother pulling her daughter as they try to make their way home, a young man bursting into tears at the sight of food, a father walking as he carries his sleeping daughter on his shoulders, crowds of workers waiting in long lines to board buses, these are the faces of the unequal India made visible by COVID19.

These images of emaciated men and women, with little children, carrying pots, torn down bags and dilapidated beddings on their heads, walking on the roads and highways that form the infrastructures of the new India are haunting reminders of the masses of displaced people expelled by wars, riots, genocides, and famines.”

By: MOHAN J.DUTTA | 29 MARCH, 2020

Source:https://www.thecitizen.in/

CARE’S COVID-19 RESPONSE

CARE has been responding to COVID19 through our community advisory groups, community workshops, and community researchers. The communities we have been working in have been creatively developing a wide range of interventions, advocacy, and activist solutions. Please click the link below to explore our policy briefs, white papers, and interventions addressing COVID-19 based on the key tenets of the CCA

CARE COVID-19 WHITE PAPERS

CARE White Paper Issue 8

Structural constraints, voice infrastructures, and mental health among low-wage migrant workers in Singapore: Solutions for addressing COVID19

Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

Responding to the continued rise in COVID19 clusters in migrant worker dormitories in Singapore, and building on earlier research (See CARE White paper Issue 6), this White Paper reports on the findings of a survey conducted with low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. In addition to the poor living conditions highlighted earlier, the structural constraints on preventive behavior are explored. Drawing on the key tenets of the culture-centered approach, the research highlights the powerful role of structural factors such as arrangements of dormitories, the absence of hygienic conditions because of the structures, the lack of clean toilets, pressure on limited toilets, and scarcity of water. The findings highlight the challenges to mental health and wellbeing experienced by the workers. Moreover, it points to the absence of voice infrastructures, and the ways in which this absence contributes to conditions that are rife for the pandemic. Solutions for structural solutions and voice democracy are offered.


 

CARE White Paper Issue 7

Culture-centered community-led testing

Gayle Moana – Johnson, CARE – Community Research Assistant and Mohan J. Dutta, Director,Center for Culture – centered Approach to Research & Evaluation Massey University

In this white paper, the community advisory group in Highbury, working with community researcher Gayle Moana-Johnson, developed the key conceptual guidelines for culture-centered community-grounded testing. The white paper highlights the key concepts anchoring the partnership between the community advisory group and the clinical team at HHPNZ

This white paper outlines the key principles of culture-centered community-led testing that are voiced by the advisory group of community members in Highbury, anchored in the principle of representing the most “in-need” members of the community (referred in the rest of this white paper as the “margins of the margins”). The key ideas in this white paper are developed as anchoring principles for the partnership between the community advisory group and the Health Hub Project New Zealand (HHPNZ).


CARE White Paper Issue 6:

Infrastructures of housing and food for low-wage migrant workers in Singapore


Courtesy Julio Etchart as part of CARE’s “Respect Migrant Rights” campaign in Singapore

This white paper responds to the high prevalence of COVID-19 in clusters associated with dormitories that house low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. Based on an ongoing digital ethnography (45 hours of participant observation) conducted in spaces where low-wage migrant workers participate online, 43 interviews conducted between April 7 2020 and April 13, 2020, inputs from advisory group of lowwage migrant workers, and drawing on 157 in-depth interviews conducted since 2013, the following key challenges with housing and food, as well as corresponding key solutions are proposed. Each of the key challenges is presented, alongside specific recommendations for solutions. The participants for the interviews were identified using snowball sampling. The interviews were conducted in Bengali, mix of Bengali and English, or English, depending on the level of comfort of the participant. Given the sense of anxiety expressed by the participants (see theme 7 below), the white paper does not disclose the locations. Also, it does not separate the different forms of arrangements to protect the confidentiality of the participants. The excerpts from the interviews are truncated to protect the identity of the participants. One of the limitations of the current study is the small sample size of the COVID19- specific data gathered between the April 7 and April 13 timeframe; however, the depth of the narratives offer rich contextually-embedded insights into the challenges being experienced by low-wage migrant workers and the potential insights they envision. The CARE research team is currently conducting a follow-up quantitative study exploring everyday experiences of health and wellbeing among low-wage migrant workers.


CARE White Paper Issue 5: April 2020

Challenges To Seeking Health Information And Healthcare Among Low Income Communities Amid COVID19

by Mohan J. Dutta Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

The findings reported here are drawn from our advisory group of community members that represent the community in Highbury. The advisory group has been built on the basis of purposive sampling, ensuring that the voices of the “margins of the margins” are represented. The advisory group meets face-to-face as well as on a digital platform. The group is facilitated by two community researchers, recruited from within the advisory group and trained in the fundamentals of interview-based research.


CARE White Paper Issue 4: March 2020

COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Package

Christine Elers (Ngā Hau), Junior Research Officer, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research & Evaluation (CARE)

We are writing about the government’s covid-19 wage subsidy package, in particular:

  • the sick leave payment due to be folded into the modified covid-19 wage subsidy package; and
  • the online publication outlining the names of all employers who have received the covid-19 wage subsidy package.

CARE White Paper: Issue 3 April 2020

The limits of the “Singapore Model” in COVID-19 response: Why authoritarian governmentality is not the solution

Mohan J. Dutta, Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

A wide range of models have been proposed as frameworks for responding to Covid-19. These models highlight
the significance of health communication in preventing the spread of COVID19 as well as in effectively responding to it. The positioning of specific models as solutions to COVID-19 is tied to the creation of actual strategies of response
globally. One such model that has been rapidly disseminated in policy discourse and circulated in articulations of COVID response is the “Singapore Model.” Drawing on the key tenets of the CCA, this paper will examine the premise of the “Singapore Model” as a framework for global health.

The white paper draws on the key tenets of the CCA to examine Singapore’s pandemic response. The CCA foregrounds the interplays of culture, structure, and agency in the constructions of health meanings and the development of health solutions.

Structure refers to the political
economy of organizing resources in society. Culture reflects the community norms, community-based meanings, and community values guiding relational negotiations of health and wellbeing. Agency reflects the relational and collective capacities of communities to develop solutions.


CARE White Paper: Issue 2 March 2020

A culture-centered approach to pandemic response: Voice, Universal Infrastructure, and Equality

Mohan J. Dutta, Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

The global nodes of spread of Covid-19 highlight the significance of health communication in preventing the spread as well as in effectively responding to it. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Noting the aggressive movement of the virus across countries, with eight countries reporting more than 1000 cases of COVID-19, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Drawing on critical analyses of the pandemic and crises response literatures as well as building on the experiences of CARE in developing culture-centered community grounded interventions,this white paper outlines the culture-centered approach to pandemic response, specifically directed at offering culturecentered guidelines for effective communication. The culture-centered approach foregrounds the interplays of culture, structure, and agency in the constructions of health meanings and the development of health solutions


LIVE interview with Dr. Phoebe Elers on Radio Waatea about Poverty Is Not Our Future campaign

Dr. Phoebe Elers, CARE Massey spoke on Radio Waatea about the forthcoming launch of #PovertyIsNotOurFuture campaign. Waatea News and interviews are broadcasted on all 21 radio stations of the Iwi Radio Network.

To know more, follow us on our campaign page- Poverty Is Not Our Future or visit CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation website
#PovertyIsNotOurFuture #Auckland #GlenInnes #CAREMassey #MasseyUni #MasseyCJM #CAREResearch #NewZealand #waateanews #IwiRadioNetwork #NZPol

Culturally-Centering Communication and Social Change: Dalit Development

An informative lecture by Professor Mohan J Dutta about Dalit Development

Culturally-Centering Communication and Social Change: Dalit Development

An informative lecture by Professor Mohan J Dutta about Dalit Development

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Thursday, 6 February 2020

Professor Mohan J Dutta Dean’s Chair In Communication & Director, CARE, Massey University

Follow us on :Facebook @CAREMassey or click below

https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey

Opinion: For many NZ scholars, the old career paths are broken. Our survey shows the reality for this new ‘academic precariat’ by CARE Researcher Fellow Dr. Leon Salter

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation is delighted to share this amazing article authored by Dr. Leon Salter, in The Conversation.

Image source: Shutterstock & https://theconversation.com/

Dr. Leon, is leading CARE’s work on precarity, labour and digital futures. He is a 2021 recipient of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Science Whitinga Research Fellowship researching on, Examining the effects of the expansion of gig work on health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic economy at CARE, Massey University.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/for-many-nz-scholars-the-old-career-paths-are-broken-our-survey-shows-the-reality-for-this-new-academic-precariat-186303

Dr. Leon is a spokesperson for TEAGA – Tertiary Education Action Group Aotearoa and also an Academic Delegate for the Massey University branch of the New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU).

#Universities #Academics#JobSecurity #Precariat #casualisation #careers #CareerPath #NewZealandStories #AcademicPay #EarlyCareerResearchers #CARECCA #CAREMassey #MasseyUniversity #GigWork #GigEconomy

CARE White Paper Issue 4. August 2019: Ihumātao protest, colonization, and cultural voice

by Christine Elers & Prof. Mohan J. Dutta , Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

The erasure of indigenous voice goes hand-in-hand with the occupation of indigenous land. What we witness over the past seven years at Ihumātao, as an extension of over a century of colonialism in Aotearoa, is the deployment of colonial tactics to erase and silence the voices of indigenous Māori peoples. Through a variety of tactics the controls over which are held by the colonizers, Māori voices resisting colonialism are silenced. The very uses of communicative strategies of indigenous participation are deployed in logics established by the colonizer to prop up and perpetuate the colonial-capitalist structure, with the state making claims to having created opportunities for participation. The capitalist interests, served through naturalized logics of the market, reflect the oppressive nature of colonialism, all the while working to erase through the very performance of tools of participation and engagement. In this backdrop, drawing from the ongoing protests at Ihumātao, in this white paper, we attend to the organizing role of indigenous voice as the basis for dismantling colonial capitalism. The Māori voice of resistance in Ihumātao, resounds with indigenous voices in Hawaii, who are protecting their sacred land – Mauna Kea from the construction and intrusion of a giant telescope on the summit.  Elsewhere across the globe the plurivocality of resistance offer pathways for addressing the very challenges that have been brought on by the accelerated corporate-colonialism of neoliberal governmentality.

Article: Ihumātao protest, colonization, and cultural voice

CARE Director, Prof. Mohan Dutta’s research article on experiences with Islamophobic hate among Indian Muslims covered in TIME magazine

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation Director, Prof. Mohan Dutta’s research on experiences with Islamophobic hate among Indian Muslims covered in this article in The TIME magazine.

BY SANYA MANSOOR JULY 1, 2022 3:48 PM EDT

“The thing with a message like Hindu Lives Matter, is that it has to be read within this broader infrastructure of messages that are calling for Muslim genocide,” says Mohan Dutta, professor at Massey University in #NewZealand, who has researched anti-Muslim hate in #India.

Dutta worked on a 2021 report about the experiences Muslims in India have with Islamophobic content on digital platforms. It found that, since Modi’s election victory in 2014 and 2019, “the hate on digital platforms in India and in the Indian diaspora has proliferated exponentially.”

“The content of digital hate driven by Hindutva,” the report notes, referring to an ideology promoting Hindu hegemony, “has been directed at India’s religious minorities, Muslims and Christians, as well as oppressed caste communities.”Dutta says using language mirroring the Black Lives Matter slogan, which is rooted in organizing against racist structures, falsely suggests that Hindus are systematically oppressed in India. “It’s ironic that a majoritarian structure takes that hashtag to deploy hate towards India’s Muslim minority community, which has consistently been targeted by hate,” he says.

#Islamophobia #HinduLivesMatter #India #Hindutva #DigitalHate #CAREMassey #MasseyUniversity

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation to collaborate with our civil society partners Islamophobia Register, The Humanism Project and Aman

We at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation are excited to collaborate with our civil society partners Islamophobia Register, The Humanism Project and Aman to build these Community-led Culture-Centered dialogues on addressing the structural drivers of Islamophobia through the participation of the “margins of the margins”. About the collaboration Islamophobia Register Australia presents “Difficult Conversations”Difficult Conversations is a community-led, culture-centered activating of structural transformation to address the drivers of Islamophobia – it aims to build and implement actionable solutions to help tackle Islamophobia in Australia.

The “Difficult Conversations” Project is utilising the ground-breaking, culture-centered and evidence-based approach to organising against prejudice and racism, that prepares both community participants, and civil society and government stakeholders, for different roles than they are typically used to, and measures the results when they are brought together.

The Details:

Main Conference

Parkroyal Parramatta, 30 Phillip Street, Parramatta (Gidley King Room)

Tuesday 2nd August 9:30am to 4pm

Speakers include: Derya Iner Principal Researcher & Author of Islamophobia in Australia Reports

Mariam Veiszadeh Lawyer, Founder & President Islamophobia Register Australia

Rita Jabri Markwell Lawyer & Advisor Australian Muslim Advocacy Network

Professor Mohan Dutta Director, Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research & Evaluation (CARE) Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication, School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing Massey University NZ

Senator Fatima Payman, WA Senator first hijab wearing Afghan Australian Muslim woman in Parliament (TBC)

Julie Inman Grant eSafety Commissioner (TBC)

Kara Hinesley Director of Public Policy Twitter Australia (TBC)

Josh Machin Head of Policy (Australia) Facebook /Meta (TBC)

For more details visit: Islamophobia Register Australia on facebook or the http://www.islamophobia.com.au/ website.

#CARE #IslamophobiaRegisterAustralia #TheHumanismProject #Aman #CAREMasseyNZ #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MasseyUni

Release of Māori Expert Advisory Group (MEAG) Report to Ministry of Health – HE KAUPAPA WAKA at CARE

Thank you for tuning in yesterday for the release of Māori Expert Advisory Group (MEAG) Report to @minhealthnz – HE KAUPAPA WAKA at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation.

As promised here’s link to the report: https://drive.google.com/…/1Ls0YzNhg-i0x…/view

Link to the livestream recording:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/5599594463393467

YouTube

Website: https://carecca.nz/2022/05/17/release-of-maori-expert-advisory-group-meag-report-to-ministry-of-health-he-kaupapa-waka-care/

#MāoriExpertAdvisoryGroup,#MEAG,#HeKaupapaWaka,#FamilyViolence,#SexualViolence#ChildAbuse,#MasseyUni,#CAREMassey,#CARECCA,#MinistyOfHealth

#MāoriExpertAdvisoryGroup #MEAG #HeKaupapaWaka #FamilyViolence #SexualViolence #ChildAbuse #MasseyUni #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MinistyOfHealth

CARE Director’s Opinion: Caste, communication and the tech sector by Prof. Mohan Dutta

A Washington Post story published on June 2, titled “Google’s plan to talk about caste bias led to ‘division and rancor’,” documents the resistance put up by employees at Google identifying themselves as Hindu protesting the platforming of a pedagogy-based lecture by the dalit rights activist Thenmozhi Soundararajan, the founder and executive director of Equality Labs. Equality Labs is a nonprofit that advocates for Dalits.

What is powerful about the story is the complicity of the infrastructure of Google in de-platforming the event and in targeting the organizer of the event at Google, Tanuja Gupta, who worked as a senior manager at Google News. 

The disinformation campaign organized by Hindu employees targeting Soundararajan called her “Hindu-phobic” and “anti-Hindu” in emails to the company’s leaders.

I am very familiar with these tropes, rooted in disinformation, that are increasingly being deployed by Hindutva adherents to target critics of Hindutva, particularly academics, journalists, and activists.

Over the course of the past year, in response to my scholarship on Hindutva and the support of CARE, the center I direct, for a conference titled “Dismantling Global Hindutva,” I have experienced relentless attacks fuelled by a disinformation campaign labelling me Hinduphobic and accusing me of spreading “Hindumisia” (both Hinduphobia and Hindumisia are terms concocted by Hindutva to silence critics of the hateful ideology). These attacks have taken the forms of letter-writing campaigns directed at my employer, threats on Twitter, sexually violent emails threatening rape, and death threats on digital platforms. 

What is critical to this global disinformation campaign is the role of formally recognized organizations such as Hindu Council and Hindu Youth here in Aotearoa, Hindu American Foundation in the US, as well as professionals and business owners in disseminating the disinformation.

In the context of Google, the disinformation is seeded and disseminated by employees.

In doing so, Hindutva adherents draw on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies, making the claim that the criticism of caste or Islamophobia in Hindutva violates the principles of DEI.

The Indian Institutes of Technologies that both the Google CEO Sundar Pichai (a Tamil Brahmin) and I attended (Pichai graduated two years ahead of me from IIT Kharagpur), and that boast of having trained the leaders of the global tech sector (IIT Bombay alumnus Parag Agarwal is the Twitter CEO, the chairman and CEO of IBM is the IIT Kanpur B.Tech Arvind Krishna, among many other alums who lead the tech sector) were founded on the principle of cultivating the scientific temper and preparing the engineers that will build the newly independent postcolonial nation.

Inherent in the construction of the IITs is a Brahminical structure that privileges specific forms of merit that draw upon the historic hierarchies of caste in India.

The very notion of merit is rooted in and intrinsically intertwined with caste in the Indian context.

That caste hierarchies and the accompanying oppressions have shaped access to learning resources and opportunities for learning are erased from the hegemonic caste formations that shape education, and certainly engineering education, in India.

These caste hierarchies are intensified in the IITs, with their projection of elite education based on the hyper-competitive joint entrance examination.

At IIT, Kharagpur, the Institution I attended, the caste structure played out in the largely Brahmin men, and the occasional Brahmin women, that formed the professorial ranks. The Mukherjees, Chatterjees, Banerjees, and the Bhattacharyas (Bengali Brahmins) made up these ranks, replete with the taken-for-granted practices of inclusion and exclusion, rooted in caste supremacy. In the 1990s when I attended the IITs, it was rare to take a course from a dalit professor. 

It would be worthwhile to examine the caste composition of the Professoriate in the IITs in 2022.

Caste practices play out in the oppressive treatment meted out to oppressed caste students.

Marked as “quota students,” dalits are subjected to racialized slurs challenging their intelligence and their right to be in the IITs. These racialized slurs were often uttered by peers and reinforced by Professors.

The power of the caste infrastructure is held up through communication, through gossip networks that undermine, through racialized slurs, and through practices of touch and body that exclude.

In 2021, an IIT Kharagpur Professor was video recorded bullying and verbally abusing dalit students. This recording offered an account of practices of casteist violence that are deep-seated in the institutions.

The toxicity of the caste structure is manifest in the negotiations of mental health among dalit students, reflected in the disproportionate suicide rates among dalit students. Students report experiencing discrimination on the basis of caste and religion, holding the religious and caste biases of the IITs as the underlying reasons for suicides.

Caste-based inequality flows from education into the technology sectors, with discriminatory practices around touch, racialized verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of opportunities to dalits built into organizational structures.

Global technology organizations such as Google have large representation of South Asians, with a strong presence of Indians. 

For Indians in such tech organizations, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) forms a key resource in addressing the challenges of organizational bias and structural racism. 

Hindutva-espousing professionals within organizations such as Google then communicatively invert caste, on one hand, erasing the presence of caste, and on the other hand, claiming that any discussion of caste in Hinduism is Hinduphobic and will result in discrimination of Hindus. The erasure of caste oppression then is incorporated into the discursive architecture, denying caste oppression while perpetuating it. 

Salient in the farewell note of Tanuja Gupta to Google is the following account:

“Of all the organizing I have done at this company, I think many are surprised that fighting for caste equity was the lightning rod issue that took me down. But I have an Indian CEO and SVP who both know exactly what’s going on and tacitly approve of everything that’s  happened. I know this because multiple VPs and Directors confirmed that in Sundar’s  Leads meeting, they discussed the need for a new universal vetting process of speakers to ensure this doesn’t happen again. So my hope is that Googlers start to understand the magnitude of this issue, and the threat that their greater understanding poses to the South Asians in power.”

The discussion of caste in global tech organizations threatens the power consolidated by upper caste Indians within these organizations. The discussion of caste disrupts the carefully crafted model minority narrative that is essential to the upward mobility of Indians in the tech sector and to the perpetuation of the meritocratic myth that fuels the tech sector. The discussion of caste threatens to reveal the misogyny, violence, and racism that forms the communicative infrastructure of a cross-section of Hindu society. 

Paradoxically, the claims to DEI serve as tools for shutting down necessary discussions of caste violence in tech.

The silencing of the voices of dalits within organizational structures is violence that perpetuates Hindutva. Moreover, the erasure of conversations on caste in tech forecloses critical conversations on the role of caste in shaping algorithms and platform infrastructures. These are critical questions as the speak to the organizing role of a racist ideology in shaping platform algorithms and search engines. Critical conversations on caste led by dalits is vital to building just platform architectures.

Professor Mohan Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right.

Google #ThenmozhiSoundararajan #EqualityLabs #Dalits #IITKharagpur #IndianInstitutesOfTechnologies #Hindutva #CAREMassey #CAREMasseyNZ #CARECCA

Article & Image Source: Massey News

Release of Māori Expert Advisory Group (MEAG) Report to Ministry of Health – HE KAUPAPA WAKA @ CARE

Release of Māori Expert Advisory Group (MEAG) Report to Ministry of Health – HE KAUPAPA WAKA

TUESDAY 14th JUNE 2022 at 11.00 AM NZST

Venue: CARE Lab – BSC 1.06, Manawatu campus, Massey University
& LIVE ON Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/5599594463393467

Join us on Tuesday, 14th June @ 11 am NZST at the CARE Lab BSC 1.06 or tune in LIVE for the release of the report HE KAUPAPA WAKA

Presented by Caroline Herewini, Te Awhimate Nancy Tait with Prof. Mohan Dutta &  CARE: Center for Culture Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation

HE KAUPAPA WAKA REPORT

Executive Summary:
As a Māori Expert Advisory Group (MEAG), the advice in this report for the
Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (the Ministry) has been undertaken with a clear view of accountabilities and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations.The MEAG was asked to provide leadership and advice on scoping a training programme for the routine enquiry of family violence, sexual violence, child abuse and neglect (FVSV), for primary health care and community providers, to benefit our whānau. Part of the brief was to examine what elements from the Violence Intervention Programme (VIP), a training programme implemented across all district health boards (DHBs), could be used in the Primary Health Care Sector. This report outlines the work undertaken over eighteen months and includes a final set of recommendations for the Ministry to consider.

In writing this report MEAG have been conscious of the multiple audiences, from ministerial and Ministry of Health observers through to whānau and health providers, as contributors.

This audience-based focus is part of the promise of reciprocity to our Māori and Pasefika providers and other organisations who provided their insights, knowledge and experience – this report is to honour their voices.

From those commitments and the desire for an open readership, the content is created to be accessible to all readers. Context explanations in several sections may seem repetitive to some experienced ministry level analytical audiences, but this stance is deliberately taken by MEAG to provide for the whole audience.

The MEAG developed a three-part approach and framework for our work, that is based on the idea of understanding and interpreting the signs from our environment and responding appropriately. The report is laid out using theseheadings – but emphasises that processes are rarely linear and cycle from, responding to our environment, regularly switching from information gathering to analysis to imagining the future back to information gathering again. The intersectionality and the contextual impact of violence inform each hui we held, and the knowledge that was shared.

#MāoriExpertAdvisoryGroup #MEAG #HeKaupapaWaka #FamilyViolence #SexualViolence #ChildAbuse #MasseyUni #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MinistyOfHealth

CARE Director’s Opinion: The right-wing version of academic freedom and communicative inversions by Prof. Mohan Dutta

For the far-right, free speech is the discursive trope organised to silence speech. This communicative inversion, the turning of materiality on its head through discursive tropes, is a communicative tool deployed by the right to hold up and perpetuate a broader culture of hate that targets Indigenous, people of colour, gender diverse, women, and diversely abled academics.

When the Newsroom story, Academics divided on their own freedoms, made its way into my mailbox, I was looking forward to reading it. The story was behind a paywall, and I had to wait until noon to read it, when thankfully a colleague kindly forwarded the text of the story to me. The story reported from a survey commissioned by the Free Speech Union and carried out by Curia Market Research. Curia boasts many clients including Pfizer, Microsoft, and the National party. In its opening page, the company pitches itself as having run polling services for New Zealand Prime Ministers and opposition politicians.

The Free Speech Union was formed initially as the Free Speech Coalition in response to the cancelling of an event at an Auckland Council-owned venue to be held by the far-right white supremacists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. Although it claims support from both sides of the political and ideological spectrum, the positions expressed by the Free Speech Union since its formation in 2018 seem to be concerned with the safeguarding of a particular form of free speech- the freedom to speech of those occupying positions of privilege. This form of speech is organised to target and silence the speech, health and safety of those at the margins of societies.

In multiple instances where the Free Speech Union has run an organised campaign, the campaign seems to be driven to safeguard the expressions of white, patriarchal, colonial structures.

The podcasts on the website of the Free Speech Union seem to be predominantly concerned with what it terms “American style culture war” and “woke culture”.

It seems the “chilling effect” the Union is concerned about is the speech of those in hegemonic positions of power. The Union’s narrative constructing the fear of being cancelled is driven to safeguard those identity positions in power that have historically and in contemporary contexts perpetuated the silencing of the raced, gendered, colonial margins.

In December 2021, the Union created an academic freedom fund in support of two academics who were being investigated by the Royal Society for a letter they wrote to the New Zealand Listener disputing the scientific legitimacy of Mātauranga Māori. When I received the survey from the Free Speech Union, I ignored it because of the seeming parochial ideological investments of the Union. Speaking with and witnessing the social media accounts of other ethnic minority, Indigenous, and gender diverse colleagues, I observed similar responses.

It was the same reason I had earlier ignored the invitation from the Union to an interview on the film The Kashmir Files. The Union platformed Roy Kaunds, a Hindutva ideologue who has been called out by Indian diaspora activists for his Islamophobic speech. Mr Kaunds previously appeared on the far-right hate infrastructure, Counterspin MediaThe Kashmir Files has been critiqued for its role as a propaganda device in spreading Islamophobia, and Hindutva ideologues have deployed the film to produce and circulate Islamophobic hate speech, reflected in calls to carry out genocide of Muslims and organised rape of Muslim women.

It seemed that I was on the radar of the Union as an academic with a different viewpoint (in the words of the person who called me), and yet I hadn’t registered a word of solidarity from the Union over the six or seven months my academic freedom was being threatened by the supporters of Hindutva, a far-right nationalist political ideology, here in Aotearoa. Mr Kaunds, the Union’s proponent of Free Speech in the context of The Kashmir Files was part of the communicative infrastructure targeting my academic freedom in the context of Hindutva.

The Newsroom article did not tell us much about the sample of the reported survey, the sampling strategy, and the demographic and ideological characteristics of the sample. Moreover, my concerns about source credibility related to the survey are validated by the survey items that were reported in the article. For instance, the article suggests 21 per cent of respondents score 0-2.5 on a 10-point scale in indicating the freedom to “question and test received wisdom.” Without further elucidation of what the item means by received wisdom, the reader is left to guess what the item is pointing toward. In other words, the perception of academic freedom reflected by the item seems to depend on what the operationalisation of “received wisdom” is.

The far right’s attack on justice-based scholarship is often legitimised through the language of freedom to test “received wisdom,” held up by the communicative construction of “woke culture” as a strategy to further marginalise voices at the margins. Indeed, the item may be interpreted to support the preconfigured agenda of the Union, that there is an “American culture war” problem in Aotearoa New Zealand. The items that follow, freedom to debate or discuss “gender and sex issues” and “treaty issues,” give away the ideological agenda of the Union. We learn that 50 per cent of the academics feel silenced about debating treaty issues (20 per cent scoring 0-2.5 and 20 per cent scoring 2.6-5.0 on a 10-point scale). We also learn that 47 per cent of the academics feel silenced debating about gender and sex issues (27 per cent scoring 0-2.5 and 20 per cent scoring 2.6-5.0 on a 10-point scale).

These items once again don’t really elucidate much. They remain vague about the aspects of these issues where academics seem to be experiencing chilling effects.

The focus on these two areas seems random, unless read from the ideological agenda of the far-right here in Aotearoa. For the far-right discursive infrastructures, “gender and sex issues” and “treaty issues” are key sites for perpetuating hate that is targeted at the margins. The freedom of speech here is deployed specifically to legitimise and circulate hate. The language of “cancel culture” is discursively deployed to erase and silence articulations from the raced, classed, gendered margins of the settler-colonial state, silencing the voices and academic freedom of those at the margins.

Who are the academics experiencing chilling effects in discussing “sex and gender” and “treaty issues?” Unless the academics responding to these items on the survey are experts in these areas, the concept of academic freedom in these areas doesn’t extend to them. A physicist’s academic freedom to make statements about “treaty issues” or “sex and gender” is as legitimate as my claim about academic freedom to make pronouncements about the muon G-2 experiment. We cannot tell from the news story whether the academics experiencing chilling effects in discussing these issues are area experts.

In the absence of details about the sample (including subject areas) and analysis of the findings disaggregated by area of scholarship, one might speculate given the context that the academics who responded to the survey are not experts in the areas of “sex and gender” and “treaty issues.” Lacking such detail, the survey could be read as a politically motivated campaign to deploy the tropes of “cancel culture” and “wokeism” to target the academic freedom of scholars at the intersectional “margins of the margins.”

In a political climate where the far-right has weaponised diverse forms of attacks on academic freedoms to uphold the hegemonic structures of whiteness, patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism, the Free Speech Union’s survey of academic freedom is an exemplar of communicative inversion, directed at perpetuating a chilling climate in the name of promoting academic freedom.

Professor Mohan Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right.

Article Source: https://www.massey.ac.nz/about/news/opinion-the-right-wing-version-of-academic-freedom-and-communicative-inversions/

#RightWing #AcademicFreedom #CommunicativeInversions #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MasseyUni #CAREOpEd