CARE Interventions-Pā Tamariki: Communities coming together to build community-led social cohesion initiatives

The Highbury Advisory Rōpū, built by tangata whenua community researchers at the Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) in partnership with the community in Highbury, has been working hard over the last many months to put together the community-led culture-centered social cohesion intervention called Pā Tamariki. Drawing upon the Māori concept of Pā as a protective space that nurtures the community and supported by funding from the Lotteries Community Grant, the advisory Rōpū envision social cohesion as emergent from the everyday spaces of care, connection, and love in the community.

Pā Tamariki is built with the goal of bringing the whanau and the community together in Highbury to create and sustain a strong community that protects and safeguards the children and the youth.

According to Venessa Pokaia, lead community researcher and community organizer at CARE, “the idea of the Pā as a generative space in the community brings the community together to build positive pathways for the youth. In doing so, the Pā connects the many diverse groups in the community, creating dialogues between the groups and connecting them together in the work of creating a strong community that supports the youth.”

The opening event on Saturday, December 17, witnessed diverse communities in Highbury come together to build this space of dialogue, understanding, care and support, anchored in manaakitanga. Through sharing food, games, and community activities, Pā Tamariki offered a message of hope for Highbury, that positive transformations can come about when community members connect with each other.

The Pā Tamariki campaign builds on the earlier campaign “I Choose Highbury” that was designed by the Highbury Advisory Rōpū to challenge and shift the dominant deficit-based narrative around Highbury. It centered stories of Highbury as a space for positive community interactions, community support, and community mutual aid. The “I Choose Highbury” campaign was launched at a Matariki celebration event in 2020, and was accompanied by community-led community garden initiatives, community cupboards, and community-driven public education programmes on the prevention of violence. 

The Pā Tamariki event showcased activities that connected them to culture, offered interactive games, and enabled intercultural interactions among diverse communities residing within Highbury. The hāngī put together by the community after three decades and the food prepared by the Afghan refugee community demonstrate the power of community sovereignty, when communities at diverse intersections come together to create spaces for love, care, and generosity. The organising power of the Highbury Advisory Rōpū demonstrates the effectiveness of culture-centered community-led interventions when power is transferred into the hands of communities as drivers of social change communication. Community sovereignty, the capacity of the community to make decisions and drive change, lies at the heart of positive transformations.

Massey News: Pā Tamariki event brings the communities of Highbury together

https://www.massey.ac.nz/about/news/p%C4%81-tamariki-event-brings-the-communities-of-highbury-together/

CARE Director, Professor Mohan J. Dutta, Massey University named in the latest World’s Top 2% Scientists List by Stanford University

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation congratulates its Director, Professor Mohan J. Dutta, Massey University for being named in the latest World’s Top 2% Scientists List (Stanford University). The excellence in the research impact at CARE is reflective of the contributions of our collective of community advisory groups, community researchers, activists-in-residence, and academic research teams working tirelessly to build strong communities as participants in organizing for social change.

We are proud of this recognition of excellence that speaks to the impact our collective scholarship makes to the theorizing of justice-based health communication processes, demonstrating the power of culture-centered community-based communication organizing for social change in transforming colonial, capitalist, patriarchal, racist and casteist structures.

Check out the Dataset- https://elsevier.digitalcommonsdata.com/data…/btchxktzyw/4

Photo by Vivien Beduya.

#ElsevierBV #CAREMassey #WorldsTopScientistsList #CultureCenteredApproach #CommunityBasedCommunication #SocialChange #HealthCommunication #StanfordUniversity #CARECCA #MasseyUni

CARE White Paper – Issue #10 Vol 2: Connecting across cultures: A framework for anti-racist strategies in Aotearoa New Zealand rooted in Te Tiriti

by Marise Lant and Mohan J. Dutta, Center for Culture – Centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

In this white paper [1], we outline the vitality of connecting across cultures, anchored in Māori leadership in shaping and guiding anti-racist interventions in Aotearoa New Zealand, connected to anti-colonial struggles by Māori. Noting that the entrenched settler colonialism in New Zealand is based on a history of Whiteness[2], we argue that witnessing this Whiteness in the colonial configuration of New Zealand is the first step to dismantling it[3]. Māori have historically experienced, negotiated and resisted the racist structures of Whiteness that form the architectures of settler colonialism in New Zealand through their everyday organizing across whanau and hapū. We center Whiteness to the colonial structures of racism in New Zealand because of the centering of White norms as the basis for perpetuating oppression, expulsion, genocide, rape, and murder of indigenous communities (Māori in New Zealand) and the simultaneous marginalisation of communities of colour, many of whom have experienced similar histories of expulsion, genocide, and violence.

In this paper, we argue that recognizing and centering the leadership of Māori as people of the land lies at the heart of the process of cultural centering we discuss here, anchoring interventions seeking transformations in racist structures in the everyday lived experiences of the indigenous people of the land. The leadership of Māori is vital to anti racist struggles not only as a way for building strategies that work but more fundamentally as the basis for turning to Te Tiriti. At the same time, connecting with the struggles of communities of colour, migrants and refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand creates a framework of solidarity that sees the Whiteness percolating through racist structures, witnesses the connections between them, and seeks to decolonize them. We argue here that seeing the connections between and across indigenous, ethnic, migrant and refugee struggles is central to culture-centered strategies of anti-racism that seek to dismantle Whiteness in colonial organisations, institutions, and society.


[1] We note in the naming of the white papers as authorial sources of knowledge the logics of Whiteness that constructs it.

[2] Whiteness refers to the hegemonic values of the colonising white culture, established as universal. See Moreton-Robinson, A. (2015). The white possessive: Property, power, and indigenous sovereignty. U of Minnesota Press

[3] Here we note the ongoing efforts at silencing conversations on Whiteness in Aotearoa by both white liberals and white supremacists. While white liberals suggest that the concept of Whiteness does not apply to Aotearoa, white supremacists deploy the age-old strategy of using communicative inversion by labelling anti-racist critiques of Whiteness as racist toward white communities.

Link to the CARE White Paper Launch with Marise Lant and Professor Mohan J Dutta.

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

Read More about Marise Lant’s Activist In Residence Events on Challenging Racism In Aotearoa New Zealand below:

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

Events:

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

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

THU 27 AUG – 11AM – CARE WORKSHOP
Venue: CARE Lab | BSC1.06 | 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 and YouTube: @CAREMassey

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

#CAREMassey #ActivistInResidence #ChallengingRacismInAotearoa  #NewZealand #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

CARE White Paper – Issue #16 Replacing Colonial Theft and Capitalism by Lunchtime

by Catherine Delahunty and Mohan J. Dutta, Center for Culture – Centered Approach to Research & Evaluation, Massey University

The climate and environmental crises we are in the midst of are symptoms of the failed extractive economic system based on colonial theft. The disproportionate burdens of climate change borne by Indigenous and local communities across the Global South foreground the importance of locating justice as the anchor to climate change organising. In this white paper, we argue that climate change cannot be addressed without the recognition of the racial capitalist processes that drive it. Based on the recognition that both colonialism and capitalism shape climate change, we propose that we cannot solve the crisis of climate change by relying on the colonising traditions and profit-driven techno fixes offered by the west, immersed in the ideology of whiteness. We offer the argument that addressing climate change calls for centering a justice-based framework that is both anti-colonial and anti-capitalist, and that looks to Indigenous peoples and local communities in the Global South to learn to rebuild relationships with the earth and with each other.

Read the full White Paper issue below:

CARE White Paper Launch Event: Replacing Colonial Theft and Capitalism by Lunchtime with Activist-in-Residence Catherine Delahunty and Professor Mohan J Dutta

CARE Activist In Residence – Catherine Delahunty Programme | 10-14 October 2022 at Massey University – Manawatū campus

CARE was proud to host and welcome our next Activist In Residence- Catherine Delahunty who will be conducting Activist in Residence public events and collaborating with Prof. Mohan Dutta on Replacing Colonial Theft and Capitalism by Lunch Time between, 10- 14 October 2022 at CARE, Manawatū campus, Massey University.

Bio:
Catherine Delahunty is a Pākehā activist and educator with a long history in critical thinking and radical organising. She organised the first high school students union in Aotearoa when she was 15 and at 68 she is still organising and teaching in environmental activism, Te Tiriti workshops,anti racism education and the campaign to support a free West Papua. She was a Green MP from 2008 until 2017 and is a Trustee and tutor at Kotare Trust, The Basket – social and environmental justice Hauraki, and member of West Papua Action Aotearoa, and is Chair of Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki who work to protect Hauraki Coromandel from multinational mining. She has been active in the group over 40 years.
Her writing includes essays and columns in anti colonisation and Te Tiriti issues, the struggle against mining and in valuing participatory radical education, as well as poetry and fiction.

List of Activist In Residence Events :

Tuesday, 11 October 7 pm NZDT
Activist In Residence: CARE In Conversation with Catherine Delahunty and Professor Mohan Dutta
Online- Live on the CARE Facebook page
Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/live_videos
FB Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/454581433316924/

Wednesday, 12 October 12 pm NZDT
Activist In Residence- CARE Public Talk: Replacing Colonial Theft and Capitalism by Lunch Time with Catherine Delahunty
Venue: SSLB1 and
Live on the CARE Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/live_videos
FB Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/501462308161666/

Thursday, 13 October 12 pm NZDT
Activist In Residence: CARE Workshop – The Wave
with Catherine Delahunty
Venue: CARE LAB BSC 1.06
FB Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1149669392300934/

Friday, 14 October 10.30 am NZDT
Activist In Residence: CARE White Paper Launch- Replacing Colonial Extractivism and Capitalism by Lunch Time with Catherine Delahunty and Professor Mohan Dutta
Venue: CJM COMMS LAB BSC B1.08 and
Live on the CARE Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/live_videos

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1550371872076476/

Note: All online events will be broadcast on the CARE FB page. at https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/live_videos

#CAREMassey #CAREActivistInResidence #CatherineDelahunty #ColonialTheft #Capitalism #MasseyUni

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

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

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

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

CARE News: CARE research project article “Experiences with COVID-19 Among Gig Workers” published in The Conversation

Voiceless and vulnerable, NZ’s gig workers faced more risk with fewer protections during the pandemic

GettyImages

Leon Salter, Massey University and Mohan Jyoti Dutta, Massey University

Published: April 6, 2022 1.31pm NZST

Largely overlooked in the recent easing of COVID restrictions has been the unequal impact on marginalised groups such as gig workers.

While for much of the past two years there was a sense of collective risk mitigation by the “team of five million”, the government has since shifted that burden more towards individuals and personal responsibility.

But this avoids the fact that not all individuals have to negotiate the same amount of risk. And research shows gig work is one of the riskiest types of employment during a pandemic.

Furthermore, gig workers lack a public voice with which to communicate these risks to the general public and decision makers. But as our recent report – Experiences with COVID-19 Among Gig Workers – shows, these workers have been at a high risk of both contracting and transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

No way to speak out

We interviewed 25 rideshare and delivery drivers about their experiences during the pandemic. We found the structural features of their employment not only exposed them to increased risk from the virus, but also offered minimal protection should they be too ill to work.

While conventional businesses have established infrastructures for voicing dissatisfaction with COVID policy – through organisations such as Hospitality NZ, for example – gig workers lack equivalent communication channels.

This inequality also extends to gig workers’ access to culturally appropriate preventive health information. Not unlike the inequities faced by Māori and migrant communities, this leaves gig workers (many of whom are also migrants who don’t speak English as their first language) more vulnerable to the negative health effects of COVID-19.

Such risk is compounded by the structural features of gig work. Our report is grounded in the voices of workers themselves and argues that seven structural features influence their experiences: the work is piecemeal, precarious, individualised, gamified, dehumanised, automated and hyper-competitive.

Up against it: rideshare drivers in New York protested for fair pay in late March. GettyImages

Algorithm as manager

By its nature, the work is driven by immediate supply and demand – drivers are paid for each micro-transaction, rather than a wage, meaning time spent waiting for jobs goes unpaid:

Sometimes it’s really quiet. It’s not even worth … turning your car on for. Yeah, it’s basically just waiting until … you know there’s going to be demand.

This in turn means no job security. If demand decreases, so does income – exactly what happened to rideshare drivers in the pandemic, with some reporting their incomes had halved or worse.

Rideshare workers’ only communication with their “employer” (their status as contractors is being disputed globally) is through a phone app, meaning interactions take the form of a game, with both parties trying to extract the most money.

There is a built-in power asymmetry, however. For example, Uber withholds information about a passenger’s destination and the length of the proposed trip, which could help a driver gauge whether to accept a job.

With no human manager and effectively managed by an algorithm, many interviewees commented on the dehumanised nature of their interactions with Uber and their isolation from other drivers. Classified as independent contractors, they function as individual micro-businesses with no colleagues and no voice or influence in their organisation:

If you’re part of it, then you’re part of it. You know this is how things are going to be. So there’s no point questioning it because there is no human component to it, so there’s no one to question.

On the COVID front line

Because of their status as independent contractors, however, risk mitigation such as masks, sanitiser or plastic screens has been their own responsibility.

While Uber offered a $20 rebate for sanitiser in 2020, drivers reported a difficult application process, with many giving up. Drivers also felt they lacked preventive health education.

On top of increased precariousness and health risks, drivers also faced the consequences of COVID’s polarising effects. They reported picking up anti-mask, unvaccinated passengers, under pressure to accept the rides due to financial anxiety and the threat of poor ratings.

Especially at the beginning of the first COVID happening, a lot of customers didn’t really want to wear a mask … and I was wearing a mask obviously. But there’s some of them tried to reach for my mask and trying to make me take it off and being abusive and all this kind of thing.

If drivers become infected with COVID-19, they often lack the financial resources to cover their household expenses. Their need to keep working then puts the wider community at risk, too. The ‘Experiences with COVID-19 Among Gig Workers’ report was launched on March 24.

Risk but few rewards

There have been trade union efforts to organise rideshare and delivery drivers, including an ongoing Employment Court claim seeking employment rights. As contractors, however, drivers are legally barred from full union membership – again denying drivers the means to communicate their grievances.

All of these structural features mean rideshare and delivery workers have been isolated, voiceless and highly vulnerable during the pandemic. Without protections such as sick pay or annual leave, gig workers also cannot choose to work from home.

But, as some have argued, they are providing what can be regarded as an essential service, putting themselves at risk while delivering food and other goods to customers in isolation.

One of the many lessons of the pandemic is the urgent need for workers in the gig economy to have their voices heard. We all need to be more aware of the precarious and risky working conditions of the person who delivers our takeaways or takes us to a party. And we need to support worker-led collectivisation efforts.

Leon Salter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Massey University and Mohan Jyoti Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor, Massey University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Read the original article.

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