Media psychology, symbolic power and social justice in Aotearoa
Hodgetts, D., Barnett, A. R., Duirs, A., Henry, J., & Schwanen, A. (2004). Media psychology, symbolic power and social justice in Aotearoa (Working Paper).
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/453
Psychologists reside in a world saturated by media. We work in professional contexts where guidelines for practice foreground ethical obligations to address issues of social justice. This paper addresses both these contextual dimensions of psychological research and practice. We explore the social significance of increased media production by Maori in challenging the tendency in mainstream media to marginalize Maori concerns while promoting Pakeha perspectives. The analysis focuses on the recent 'Inside Out documentary - Hikoi', which was initiated by two young Maori women as a challenge to media framing of Maori protests as 'unjustified' and 'disruptive' acts. We illustrate how this documentary furthers public dialogue regarding the foreshore and seabed controversy by promoting an alternative depiction of a Maori protest, which emphasize the history of grievances and social unity. The implications of such representations for psychologists working to address issues of social justice and to challenge abuses of symbolic power are discussed.