Indigenous Australian diasporas : identity and healing in the outback ghetto

Hayward, Christopher (2002). Indigenous Australian diasporas : identity and healing in the outback ghetto Honours Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hayward, Christopher
Thesis Title Indigenous Australian diasporas : identity and healing in the outback ghetto
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor John Bradley
Sue O'Connor
Total pages 132
Language eng
Subjects L
160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Formatted abstract

The colonisation of Australia began a period of rapid social and cultural change for Indigenous Australians. One of the most detrimental acts among many, was the forced removal and lumping together of many different Indigenous language groups to missions, reserves and settlements. Since colonisation and self-determination, many Indigenous peoples have held a desire to (re) connect with their cultural heritage. For some this involves affirming ones Indigenous identity, for others, it involves a complex process of researching ones ancestors through community and personal histories and government records. Furthermore, some Indigenous men wish to return to the ancestral Country of either of their parents to participate in Men's Business. This is what I have referred to as a Going Home Journey. I argue that the forced separation of people from their ancestral lands and the desire to return home and possibly restore 'home' is typical of a theory of diaspora resulting in what I have termed Indigenous Australian diasporas. Using a case study of one Going Home Journey that incorporates the culture-as-healer model and using a theoretical position of critical humanism, I argue that the Going Home Journeys and the culture-as-healer model affirm Knauft's (1996) theory of culture, not as an integrated entity tied to a fixed group of people, but as a contested process of forming collective identity. Furthermore, I argue that the Going Home Journeys act to deligitimise some Indigenous identities whilst supporting others.

Keyword Australian history
Indigenous Australia
Aboriginal Australians -- Ethnic identity

 
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