Maori student wins fellowship for research into indigenous people’s use of social media
Massey University PhD candidate in Arts, Acushla Dee O’Carroll has been awarded a prestigious 2013 Fulbright-Harkness New Zealand Fellowship for her outstanding record of achievement and leadership.
As Massey University News outlines, Dee, who grew up in Te Hawera, Taranaki (her iwi affiliations are Ngaruahine Rangi, Ngāti Ruanui and Te Āti Awa), is a member of the College of Health’s Whariki Research Centre at the School of Public Health. She is investigating how Māori and other indigenous cultures use social media.
“My PhD at Massey explored how Māori use social media in different ways. I am particularly interested in getting a feel for how indigenous people in other parts of the world use Facebook and Twitter, for example, for cultural revitalisation.”
“The Internet and social networking sites (SNS) are enabling Māori from all over the world to connect and engage in meaningful relationships with friends, family and communities as well as practice aspects of Māori culture. Interactions based on cultural practices have heralded a new era of the ‘virtual marae’ where language, customs and whanaungatanga are practiced daily.”
Dee, who will take up the award in September, says it provides an exciting opportunity to share her research with other indigenous communities. She plans on delivering lectures in Seattle and Hawaii. “I look forward to sitting and talking and sharing food with our indigenous relatives,” she said. Dee encourages other Māori to apply for this award and other Fulbright awards as opportunities to travel and meet new people, while doing study.