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Agnes Brandt

Cross-cultural friendship relations between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand (working title)


Personal Information

Date of birth: 9 May 1979 in Goettingen, Germany



- since 06/2006: PhD candidate at the DFG-research group (Graduiertenkolleg 1288) „Friends, Patrons, Clients“, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany

- 02/2007 - 06/2008: visiting PhD-student at Auckland University of Technology, School of Social Sciences, New Zealand

- 03/2006: Magister Artium (M.A.), Free University Berlin; Topic of M.A.-Thesis: „Mana Wahine – Feminisms, Maori Sovereignty and Lived Experiences of Maori Women“ (supervised by Prof. Dr. Ute Luig and Prof. Dr. Egon Renner)

- 02/2001 - 04/2002: Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand

- 10/1998 - 05/2006: Studies of Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology (M.A.), Free University Berlin

- 06/1998: High-School-Diploma (Abitur), Gymnasium Großburgwedel, Germany


Work Experience and Fieldwork


- 05/2004 - 05/2006: student research assistant, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

- 11/2003 - 01/2004: internship, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

- 02/2001 - 04/2002: student fieldwork in Auckland, New Zealand; topic: „Mana Wahine Maori in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand“

- 02/2000 – 03/2000: internship, Ethnological Museum Berlin




- since 06/2006: PhD-scholarship at the DFG-research group (Graduiertenkolleg 1288) „Friends, Patrons, Clients“, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany

- 03/2001 – 12/2001: DAAD-scholarship for studying in New Zealand


Main Research Interests


by topic:

-         interpersonal relations

-         inter-/transculturalism and cultural globalisation

-         gender research

-         developmental anthropology


by region:

-         Oceania, in particular Polynesia (research focus Aotearoa/New Zealand)




- Keller, M., A. Brandt & G. Sigardardottir (in press). „Happy“ and „unhappy“ victimizers: The Development of moral emotions from childhood to adolescence. In W. Koops et al. (Hg.), The Development and Structure of Conscience (S. 253-267). Hove/New York: Psychology Press

- Brandt, A. (under revision). Identity and Belonging in Cross-cultural Friendship: Maori and Pakeha Experiences.




- Brandt, A. (2008). Zur Dynamik interkultureller Freundschaften in Aotearoa Neuseeland. Treffen der Regionalgruppe Ozeanien, Goettingen, Germany.

- Brandt, A. (2008) Cross-cultural Friendship and Multiple Belongings in New Zealand. 7th conference of the European Society for Oceanists (ESFO), Verona, Italy.

- Brandt, A., Keller, M., Rinderknecht, J. & P. Post (2006). Entwicklung moralischer Emotionen im Kulturvergleich. Poster presented at the 47th Congress of the German Society for Psychology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie, DGPs), Nuremberg, Germany.

- Brandt, A., Post, Pauline & M. Keller (2006). Development of Moral Emotions: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Poster presented at the Conference of Development and Structure of Conscience by the Royal Netherlands Academy of  Sciences (KNAW), The Hague, Netherlands.

- Keller, M., Brandt, A., Fang-Fu Xi & Fang-Ge (2006). From connectedness to autonomy: a cross-cultural perspective. Paper presented at the 32nd  Annual Meeting of the Association for Moral Education (AME), Fribourg, Switzerland.

- Keller, M., Brandt, A. Fang-Fu Xi, & Fang-Ge (2006). Adolescent’s self in relationship: a cross-cultural perspective. Poster presented at the 10th Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA), Antalya, Turkey.

- Keller, M., Brandt, A., Savci, C. & W. Seefeldt (2005). Moralische Konsistenz – ein Entwicklungs- und Kulturvergleich. Poster presented at the 17th Symposium of the Section Developmental Psychology of the German Society for Psychology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie), Bochum, Germany.


PhD Thesis Project: Cross-cultural friendship relations between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand (working title)


Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Judith Schlehe

Tutor: Prof. Dr. Sabine Dabringhaus

Friendship is a universal phenomenon that can take on a variety of forms and meanings. Different conceptions of friendship can be found depending on age, gender, ethnic membership, or social status. The distinction from other social categories like patronage and kinship is becoming increasingly difficult and needs to be reinvestigated in the respective cultural and historical contexts.
At the core of my dissertation project lies the meaning of culture in friendship relations. Main object of the study are cross-cultural friendships between the members of two cultural/ethnic groups in New Zealand: The Maori, i.e. the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and the so-called Pakeha, New Zealanders of predominantely European descent. In particular, attention is given to the relationship between the two groups in a postcolonial context. The Treaty of Waitangi - signed between Maori and the British Crown on 6th of February 1840 - defines Maori and Pakeha as equal inhabitants of New Zealand. Thus, despite the country’s multicultural population, on a socio-political level biculturalism is postulated, i.e. the full and equal integration of Maori and Pakeha into New Zealand society. In my dissertation project I investigate cross-cultural friendship relations at the crosspoint of the postulated equality of the two groups according to the Treaty on the one hand, and the de facto existing inequalities on the other hand. How do the social and political relations influence intercultural friendships? Are cultural and ethnic boundaries reproduced in friendships, or, can friendships provide a site for overcoming existing boundaries and for practicing social role modelling? What is the significance of culture-specific friendship conceptions and interpretations? In this context, different values and norms will be accounted for, as well as cognitive-emotional aspects (e.g. conceptions of intimacy and autonomy) and gender differences.
By investigating these research questions using ethnographic methods, the study aims to contribute to the development of anthropological perspectives on friendship within a wider interdisciplinary framework. Moreover, it provides a further perspective on Maori-Pakeha relations in New Zealand.


  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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