Social engineers and bystanders: The limits of 'responsibility' in indigenous affairs

Hunter E. (2006) Social engineers and bystanders: The limits of 'responsibility' in indigenous affairs. Australasian Psychiatry, 14 1: 24-32. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1665.2006.02242.x

Author Hunter E.
Title Social engineers and bystanders: The limits of 'responsibility' in indigenous affairs
Journal name Australasian Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1039-8562
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1665.2006.02242.x
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 24
End page 32
Total pages 9
Subject 2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
Abstract Objective: A significant shift is occurring in Australian Indigenous affairs. Contentiously, key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have challenged governments and organizations, both mainstream and Indigenous, to confront 'passive welfare dependence'. This paper explores some of the social justice implications and considers the roles of non-Indigenous professionals. Methods: A publication by Pat Dodson and Noel Pearson is used to frame the discussion. Results: Ambiguity surrounding a number of key concepts and the shifting territory of Indigenous rights has contributed to bureaucratic inertia in Indigenous affairs. A range of 'new' concepts is being introduced into the current debate, such as expectancy, reciprocity and mutual obligation, challenging ideas of responsibility, agency and the roles played by non-Indigenous bureaucrats and practitioners. Conclusions: Regardless of good intentions or social justice motivations, non-Indigenous interventions must be informed by an awareness of the potential to undermine Indigenous agency and, consequently, cause harm.
Keyword Aboriginal
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 14 Jun 2016, 17:07:40 EST by System User