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Identity Matters: Racial-ethnic identity and Māori students

Melinda Webber

Racial-ethnic identity is a fundamental aspect of an early adolescent’s identity. This article, based on data from Māori adolescents in Auckland, shows that racial-ethnic identity is important for Māori adolescents because it frames who they are, how they belong and their achievement aspirations. It concludes that, although negative stereotypes are prevalent and powerful in the lives of Māori adolescents, a strong racial-ethnic identity may enhance their resilience, providing them with the capacity to prevent negative pressures from interfering with their educational engagement.

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