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Maori language narratives

Rushkoff (2013) in his recent book Present Shock discusses the here and now of the neoliberal world that has arrived in a disposable consumer economy where one-click ordering is more important than the actual product being purchased. He asserts that there has been a larger societal shift away from future expectations to current value, and that when people stop looking at the future, they start looking at the present. Coming out of World War II, Americas frontier was less about finding new territory to exploit and more about inventing new technologies, which have gone viral. Those technologies have influenced the way we think and our narratives. He argues that multitasking brains are actually incapable of storage of sustained argument because of the impact of those technologies. He calls the phenomenon of living in the here and now “presentism” in our drive to be liberated from twentieth century dangerously compelling ideological narratives; no longer are we convinced that the brutal means are justified by the mythological ends. But along with the “presentism” there is the caution around the events of what he calls narrative collapse. Rushkoff quotes Mark Turner’s conclusions, that “Narrative imagining—story—is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend on it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting, of planning, and of explaining” (2013, p. 13). Narratives provide a foothold, a fixed position from which we reflect and look forward. Further, drawing on Le Guins observations that story-telling “is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories” (p. 13), he argues that experiencing the world as a series of stories or narratives is what helps to create the contexts of our lives. This book has argued that it is time for a new story, of counter-colonial re-narrativization of early childhood care and education pedagogies, opening up spaces which re-position Maori stories at the centre.

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