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Wednesday, November 24 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Room C2 - Parallel Session Two: Identity & Exclusion

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Chair: Megan Apse

Byron Williams

In life, there are moments that spark intense reflection. I was recently sent an article from stuff.co.nz: ‘Like Bodies, Like Minds: Musician TJ Zimba links his depression to racism at school’. The title stared at me, challenging me, urging reflection of my racialized experiences. The provocative title encouraged me to think in a social-scientific fashion I have personally tried to avoid, perhaps to spare myself pain. Much of my academic research has been motivated by my experiences, but rarely was it ever of my experiences. Could it be? Could my experiences of racism in New Zealand schooling have played a role in my anxiety throughout adulthood? In this presentation, I reflect on this question. I draw on the parallels between the aforementioned article and my life through the use of autoethnography. I analyse my own experiences, bolstered on top of experiences of other young Africans around me, and argue experiences of racism in New Zealand create destructive patterns of mental health and feelings of inadequacy. Drawing on select works of Frantz Fanon and Bell Hooks, I will demonstrate how these experiences are part of a long-running theme of existing in African skin in a Euro-dominated world.

Gihani De Silva

Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka strive and thrive under a system that excludes them in certain respects. It required a holistic methodological approach to the study of the lives of Buddhist nuns’ groups (or the survival strategies), whose places in Buddhism and the monastic community are not settled or singular. Given the intricacies of the Buddhist female renunciation phenomenon in Sri Lanka, I was impelled to use a new metaphor to characterise the process through the empirical data gathering and analysis for this study: crystallisation. This study discusses the peculiarity of the crystallisation metaphor, which offers a methodical way to alternate and encounter the above-mentioned representation crisis. Crystallisation provided a framework for describing and incorporating the diverse forms of discourse representations I observed in the field, ranging from performances and embodied actions to sophisticated multimedia presentations and state-sanctioned festivals of Buddhist nuns. Crystallisation incorporates these disparate genres and representations of female renunciation while also allowing different modes of collecting (including artistic inquiry: poetry, preaching performance) and analysing data. The ultimate goal is to embrace marginalised and historically silenced groups like Buddhist nuns in Sri Lanka. As a result, a crystallised account was produced, which was subsequently incorporated into a cohesive text.

Megan Apse & Clarie Gray

Welfare systems in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are increasingly using sanctions as a tool to promote compliance with welfare conditions. Although research has shown that sanctions may be ineffective in influencing behavioural change, New Zealand welfare recipients routinely face the threat of sanctions as part of Work and Income procedure. Penalties can reduce payments to beneficiaries by up to fifty per cent and result in financial hardship with a myriad of negative flow-on effects. This mixed-methods research examined the experiences of welfare recipients whose benefits had been sanctioned. Findings suggest that welfare recipients face financial hardship and high stress levels when under sanction, the effects of which erode mental and physical health. In addition, the research found that processes leading to sanctions were not well understood by benefit recipients. The research contributes to a growing body of New Zealand literature suggesting that the relationship between Work and Income New Zealand and its clients has become increasingly punitive.

Wednesday November 24, 2021 1:30pm - 2:30pm NZDT
C2 Commerce Building