Talanoa research: Culturally appropriate research design in Fiji

Year: 2005

Author: Otsuka, Setsuo

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Talanoa Research is the most culturally appropriate research design in the ethnic Fijian community in Fiji. Talanoa asks researchers to establish a good interpersonal relationship and rapport with ethnic Fijian participants. Talanoa research expects researchers and participants to share not only their time and interests but also emotions. Researchers need to use culturally appropriate procedures in conducting talanoa research effectively. For this purpose, researchers should be aware of ethnic Fijian cultural values and beliefs in sharing, giving and typical ethnic Fijian transactions of discussion including their non-verbal communication cues. If protocols are ignored, research results are most unlikely to be reliable, since many ethnic Fijian participants may end the talanoa. They might even deliberately elicit a wrong response to teach researchers a lesson.