The interface between cultural understandings: negotiating new spaces for Pacific mental health.

Pacific health dialog : a publication of the Pa... 15(1):113 (2009) PMID 19585741

This theoretical paper introduces the concept of the "negotiated space", a model developed by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Maui Hudson and colleagues describing the interface between different worldviews and knowledge systems. This is primarily a conceptual space of intersection in-between different ways of knowing and meaning making, such as, the i Pacific indigenous reference and the dominant Western mental health paradigm of the bio-psycho-social. When developing Pacific models of care, the "negotiated space" provides room to explore the relationship between different (and often conflicting) cultural understandings of mental health and illness. The "negotiated space" is a place ofp urposive re-encounter reconstructing and re-balancing of ideas and values in complementary realignments that have resonance for Pacific peoples living in Western oriented societies. This requires making explicit the competing epistemologies of the Pacific indigenous worldviews and references alongside the bio-psycho-social and identifying the assumptions implicit in the operating logic ofe ach. This is a precursor to being empowered to negotiate, resolve and better comprehend the cultural conflict between the different understandings. This article theorises multiple patterns of possibility of resolutions and relationships within the negotiated space relevant to research, evaluation, model, service development and quality assurance within Pacific mental health.