Title: Celebration and marginalisation in New Zealand sport: the 'ethnic', national Maori rugby union team

Authors: Camilla Obel

Addresses: Lecturer in Sociology, School of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract: The paper explores the inclusion of the indigenous Maori in New Zealand sport through an examination of the national, male Maori rugby union team. Drawing on Appadurai|s (1995) cultural analysis of the adaptation of cricket in India, it is argued that class and race relations played out in the continued rivalry between the two rugby codes – union and league – provides an explanation for this team|s continued existence. The paper concludes that the Maori team|s significance expanded to spreading the game to the Pacific Islands and in doing so, paradoxically, both promoted and marginalised Pacific rugby in the global game.

Keywords: indigenous Maoris; New Zealand; ethnic teams; rugby union; rugby league; Pacific Islands; marginalisation; sport management; class distinctions; race relations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2007.011396

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2007 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.146 - 159

Published online: 30 Nov 2006 *

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