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Part 2: Chapter 3: They Say / I Say.
Part Two: I Say.

As mentioned in a previous journal entry, this is a book that I enjoy and it is easy to read. I love the ongoing permission that it gives to have an opinion in an academic space. One that still remains respectful, but is also contributory, rather than simply a summary of what has gone before.
In ‘I Say’ there is an opportunity to offer your own argument, noting that many will be apprehensive (as I was) re offering what appears to be commentary from an ‘expert status’.

‘Good arguments are based on knowledge and everyday habits of mind.’

I have summarised the salient points from ‘I Say’, for myself, as I know these will be useful as I advance my rangahu next semester. I have already advanced my conversational writing based on the frameworks offered by this book.

When responding to others ideas, there is a ability to agree and disagree, and both of these positions must accommodate a high degree of complex and creative thought.
Disagreeing is associated with critical thinking, where you get to twist the conversation a little more. And even when you agree, it is important to bring something more to the conversation than just agreement. This could be through pointing out unnoticed implications. It is important to add value, not just simply agree, by re-stating what has been said. Always add to the conversation so that you further enhance the credibility of the argument. Being undecided is still okay, however, be careful not to come across as ambivalent, or evasive and unsure.
Be clear about your positionally earlier on in your writing, distinguish between what ‘you say’ and what ‘they say’. A reader must be able to identify when you are expressing YOUR point of view. Avoid making ‘I’ statements as this can be interrupted as expressing subjective and self-indulgent opinions, rather than a presenting a well-grounded argument. Planting a ‘naysayer’ in the text can enhance credibility. The more you give voice to your critics objections the more you disarm them. However it is important to entertain counter arguments to avoid coming across as close minded. Give objections enough air time in your writing to demonstrate that you have taken them seriously. However, make sure that any counter arguments are not more convincing than your own, noting that creating tension and clash in your writing keeps people interested.
So what, who cares? Answer this question in your writing, by identifying a group that cares, so that you link to real world applications, also frame your writing in a way that helps readers care about it.

Reading this I could not help but reflect on the reason that I am advancing my rangahau. And noting the relevance of the chapter to the mind-map assignment that I have presented to be marked. Within this I have endeavoured to detail the counter arguments and introduce an alternative, by way of a very valid conversation, that exists within a previously discounted voice, that we now need to make space for.

To date we have heard from those that want tougher policies in the criminal justice system, advocating that locking people up for extended periods of time is the best way to address and reform criminal behaviour, this reflects the four theories of punishment.
We also have heard from those that see prison as a systemic failure, housing the marginalised and advancing inequity within demographics. These are the academics and sector experts that talk to abolition as the only way forward, advancing community solutions of care in response to criminal activity. These voices, in most cases have not been to prison. Whilst their research reflects time spent with incarcerated persons, I often wonder, as do the RAW wahine, as to the validity and usefulness of the methods that have been used. Noting that past research produced to guide Corrections into decolonising and humanising detained care, has resulted in little change for the incarcerated.

Having read this reading, I would now look to remove the ‘I’ from the text, and re frame to:

The RAW mahi inside the prison in support of the detained wāhine, has witnessed and negates the usefulness of the methods that have been used. Noting that past research produced to guide Corrections into decolonising and humanising detained care, has resulted in little change for the incarcerated.

The research will allow me to make space (open a new space), for the wāhinesvoice, a voice that has been previously unheard in this collaborative and participant way.

I am however comfortable with an expression of respectful opinion, that is contrary to what is being said, even when its is within respected academic frameworks. This reading will help to craft those responses with clarity and respect, and enable valid and additional contribution.


Birkenstein, C., & Graff, G. (2018). They Say / I Say (4th ed.). WW Norton.