Sport, Tribes and Technology: The
New Zealand All Blacks Haka and
the Politics of Identity
Steven J. Jackson and Brendan Hokowhitu
Globalization has emerged as one of the foremost discourses of our times. According to Anthony Giddens in his recent book Runaway World: How Globalisation is Reshaping Our Lives “globalisation is not incidental to our lives …. it is a shift in our very life circumstances. It is the way we now live” (Giddens, 2000, p. 19). Giddens' remark forms part of a mounting chorus of scholars, politicians, social activists, economists, transnational entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens who, despite not necessarily agreeing on the specific nature or consequences of globalization, understand that there have been dramatic changes in contemporary patterns of social existence (Appadurai, 1990; Featherstone, 1996; Herman and McChesney, 1997; Scott, 1997; De Mooij, 1998). Key forces in these changes are the new media technologies that enable distant events, people and processes to have a more powerful and immediate impact on our lives (Morley and Robins, 1995; Miller, 1998). Consequently, there has been considerable discussion and debate about the impact of globalization and, in particular, the influence of global forces on local cultures. The local has been defined and conceptualized in a variety of ways, including the nation state, but our focus is within the context of indigenous cultures.
This study examines how global forces are shaping local, indigenous cultures with a particular focus on the relationship between global capitalism, new media technologies, transnational advertising and Mäori culture and identity in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We outline a contemporary political debate surrounding indigenous culture and intellectual property rights as they relate to the appropriation of Mäori culture by transnational corporations. Specifically, we examine the politics of identity associated with global sport company Adidas and their use of the traditional New Zealand All Black haka as part of their global advertising campaign. Central to our discussion are the power, politics