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Karlo Mila-Schaaf

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sociology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Polycultural capital and the Pasfika second generation: Negotiating identities in diasporic spaces

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Mila-Schaaf explored how the Pacific second generation (NZ-born) operate culturally, and whether and how Pacific cultures influence their identities, lifestyles and life chances.  Feeling proud of Pacific cultural identity, placing importance on Pacific values, speaking Pacific languages, feeling accepted by people of the same and other cultures, were all significantly associated with advantageous health and educational outcomes.  Adapting Bourdieu’s theory of social space, Ms Mila-Schaaf argued that the Pacific second generation in New Zealand were exposed to both Western-oriented social spaces and diasporic Pacific social spaces.  Rather than being ‘caught between cultures’, she found that participants showed ‘polycultural capital’ a term she coined to describe their ability to realise and exploit the advantage available from routine exposure to culturally diverse social spaces.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley
Mr Cluny MacPherson

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