Talanoa Methodology in Samoa Law and Gender Research: The Case for a Samoan Critical Legal Theory and Gender Methodology

Bridget Fa'amatuainu

The need for more scholarly reflection on alternative ontological voices and indigenous methodology serves to deconstruct the often exclusionary or one-dimensional approach to research on gender and law. The critical review on what the most culturally competent research method to employ in research about indigenous issues, by both indigenous, and non-indigenous researchers is a recent phenomenon. Samoan perspectives in gender and law research may not always be harmonious; and this diversity carries the potential to widen the scope of methodologies that can be employed in order to engage with power relations at the intersection of indigenous voices. This article examines some of the prevailing assumptions underpinning legal and gender methodology, and why such assumptions may either be discarded or used to enrich the design of indigenous methodologies in law and gender research. This article examines the merits of a more inclusive and uniquely Samoan critical theory and gender methodology (for which there is none) underpinned by fa’asamoa principles.

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July 18, 2023
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