Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Open Lecture: My Father was a Race Alien

2 July 2014

My Father was a Race Alien: Globalisation and Immigration in New Zealand


Living in multi-cultural New Zealand today, it’s hard to imagine what life was like for those who came here from non-European countries during the 20th century and were classified as ‘race aliens’.

This is a tale of a young Lebanese man leaving behind the hardships of his home country to search for new opportunities in New Zealand during the mid-20thcentury. He marries a New Zealand woman, has two children, and they are compelled to integrate into this new culture and way of life, ignoring their Lebanese heritage.

Professor Michèle Akoorie, from the University of Waikato’s Management School, is one of those children. She will deliver her Inaugural Professorial Lecture on July 15 in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts using her family history as an example of what it was like for those immigrants at the time.

“My sister and I were brought up as New Zealanders but our Lebanese heritage was down played,” she says.

“Growing up, I was ashamed of my background. We were different and had funny surnames and our father didn’t play rugby or drink beer like most New Zealand men of that generation.”

This family history had a profound effect on Professor Akoorie and led her on a research journey which considers aspects of globalisation and immigration in New Zealand.

“Research has uncovered that globalisation has enabled the rich to enjoy global mobility and power, while the poor remained local and become unhappy, so there’s a mismatch,” she says.

Working with fellow colleagues, Professor Akoorie interviewed a number of immigrants in order to understand better the emotional labour they experienced after relocating and how they coped with it.

“They are lured here by the idea of a clean and green environment, better education and work opportunities, however differences in background can lead to issues of culture shock, unemployment, over-qualification, employment discrimination and language barriers,” she says.

“The purpose of my presentation is to raise awareness of what it was like growing up in a mono-cultural society. It’s about how you try and fit in, which is easier now, but back then there was lot of prejudice.”

Professor Akoorie is a graduate of Auckland University and holds an MBA in Export Management and International Business (with distinction) from Cass Business School, London, and a DPhil from the University of Waikato. Her specialisation is International Management and she has published several books and a number of journal articles in this field.

Free and Open to the Public: Professor Michèle Akoorie’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘My Father was a Race Alien’, is on Tuesday 15 July at 6pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the University’s way of presenting new or newly promoted professors to the wider public.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Publishing: Unity Books On Plan To Close Te Papa Press

Unity Books is alarmed that Te Papa is proposing to suspend publishing by Te Papa Press for 4 or 5 years. Te Papa Press has proven time and time again that it has both award and bestseller capability and fulfils its kaupapa. More>>

ALSO:

Cinema: ‘The Desk’ Featuring Paul Henry To Have NZ Debut

The Documentary Edge Festival is thrilled to announce The Desk as a late entry to its 2015 Programme. The film, featuring local broadcaster Paul Henry, will have its international premiere on May 21 at 10pm at Q Theatre (book now at qtheatre.co.nz) with limited screenings also on offer in Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Art: Considering Feminisms In Aotearoa New Zealand: Two Projects

Feminism is something that has changed our lives. Recently, the activist Marilyn Waring reviewed the impact of feminism in Aotearoa New Zealand and reminded us that just 40 years ago banks wouldn’t lend women money without the guarantee of a man, ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news