Social Anthropology and Australian Aboriginal Studies

Social Anthropology and Australian Aboriginal Studies

Robert Tonkinson, Ronald M. Berndt

Language: English

Pages: 290

ISBN: 0855751894

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A collection of independent assessments on a range of topics relating to the social anthropology of Aboriginal studies.
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The Politics of Anthropology: From Colonialism and Sexism Toward a View from Below (World Anthropology)













proper courses and handed on to the next generation. Again, this was a fundamental insight, but one which leaves unresolved the problems of how new sacred knowledge is created, and how it is possible to use control of knowledge for political purposes. These are issues which Stanner left largely unexplored. I argued earlier that one of the things that motivated Stanner was a desire to switch from an outsider’s to an insider’s perspective, one that approached Aboriginal religion In its own terms

situation described by Strathern (1980), where gender notions tend to be used evaluatively of persons so that for example, a woman who shows special prowess by accomplishing some feat defined as male (such as confronting an enemy), is said to be like a man, and this is strong praise. From my own experience southwest of Mount Hagen I know that men who can do some particular task defined as female, such as making netbags, take some delight in the praise they receive for being so clever. But there

in European dominated rural areas (Bell 1959, Gale 1964, Reay 1964). The economic life of Aborigines had always been a relatively neglected area of research in Australia. In 1959, Berndt, in an article entitled ‘Research Demanding Urgent Attention’, noted that ‘as far as detailed studies of economic organization are concerned, there is much we need to know’ (in Shells 1963, 448). Throughout the 1961 conference attention was continually drawn to the need for work on Aboriginal economy. It was

(1980), argues that the low socioeconomic status of Aborigines is due to European attitudes which establishes the conditions under which Aborigines live and the ‘industrial relations’ systems within which they work. Long’s (1970) study of the major Aboriginal settlements of eastern Australia was also part of the Social Science Research Council project. Long presents material on living conditions, community services, employment, income and welfare benefits of residents. Other major works from the

material published since 1961, I have had to use a broad definition of publication—even broader than the ‘make generally known’ of the Oxford English Dictionary—since a great deal of what has been recorded in the area of Aborigines and law during that time exists not in books or scholarly journals, but in transcripts of evidence and submissions in a variety of legal forums and commissions of inquiry, reports to government instrumentalities, reports of special commissions, and theses. Although the

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