Tongan women talking about their lives in leadership in New Zealand : a participatory visual methodological approach to talanoa, gender and culture
Citation:Kailahi, S. (2017). Tongan women talking about their lives in leadership in New Zealand : a participatory visual methodological approach to talanoa, gender and culture. An unpublished thesis submitted to the Department of Communication Studies in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Communication, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4194
This thesis looks at the impact of gender and culture on leadership of Tongan women living in Auckland through a creative project consisting of an online documentary, a website tool and an exegesis. The desire to do this research was borne out of a personal interest in leadership and a passion for storytelling, specifically telling stories on Pasifika women and in this case, Tongan women. It was also the discovery of limited research on the use of a participatory visual methodology combined with the Indigenous Tongan research methodology talanoa (traditional method of face-to-face conversations) that made this master’s research very enticing. Part of the approach was to see how these two methodologies worked together or complemented each other. As a co-participant, the author was able to use an autoethnographical approach that involved semi-structured interviews, a semi-structured focus group, and reflexive diaries. However, during the research it became apparent that the diaries were not going to work for the women, because of their busy schedules and this was dropped as part of the data collection. Despite this, the researcher was able to keep a personal diary of her reflections throughout the research. This is woven throughout the exegesis to highlight the journey the author went through with the women. The talanoa sessions provided rich, in-depth and personal data. The study asked the women ‘What does leadership mean to them’ and ‘what was the impact of gender and culture on their leadership journeys?’. The study presents an audio-visual baseline of what is considered leadership by Tongan women living in New Zealand. It forms the basis of a structure to move forward and will contribute to a wider discourse on leadership for and about Tongan women, and how it can be used to help younger Tongan women, or influence older Tongan women to discuss leadership in the future.