Is Blood Quantum Back In Circulation?

  • Melissa Derby
  • Sonja MacFarlane


Identity is one of those elusive concepts that, when hearing the word ‘identity’ uttered, we all nod in understanding. But when we give it just a little thought we soon realise it is as hard to capture as a fruit fly in a glass of sauvignon blanc – just when we think we’ve got it, and we’re poised to flick it out of the glass and hold it up for closer inspection and analysis, it slips away and we’re back to square one. And so the process starts again and is repeated until we are successful in capturing the fly. Much like the fruit fly metaphor, many scholars have set out to pin down this notion of identity, and the copious amount of research in this area is evidence of our determination and need to grasp it. Some general consensus has emerged from the struggle, and it is widely accepted that culture and ethnicity play key roles in issues of identity. An analysis of the identity discourse as it relates to culture and ethnicity reveals a move away from binary and clinical notions of identity that spawned ideas such as blood quantum, to a place where social acceptance and belonging are at the heart of identity. Essentially, one identifies with a group, is accepted by that group, and with that acceptance and belonging comes certain rights (or not) and responsibilities.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Derby, M., & MacFarlane, S. (2018). Is Blood Quantum Back In Circulation?. Te Kaharoa, 11(1).