Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Aboriginality and the NT Intervention - Alissa Macoun

Aboriginality and the NT Intervention - Alissa Macoun

Ratings: (0)|Views: 115 |Likes:
Published by Robert Nicholas
Architects and supporters of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
(the intervention) mobilised a range of ideas about Aboriginality to introduce
and justify the policy program. These representations link Aboriginality to
abuse of Aboriginal children, establishing a debate about the nature and
future of Aboriginality in a context that limits the discursive authority of
Aboriginal people. Aboriginality is represented as savage and in need of
settler-imposed control, and also primitive and in need of development. These
constructions understand Aboriginality temporally, situating it in the past but
providing moral justification for coercing Indigenous people into the settler
present. Aboriginality is also constructed spatially in this discourse, with
prescribed communities framed as the location of both authentic Aboriginality
and of threatening disorder. The intervention is framed as extending
settler authority over this troubling terrain, containing and redeeming
Aboriginality through inclusion in the settler nation’s moral order.
Architects and supporters of the Northern Territory Emergency Response
(the intervention) mobilised a range of ideas about Aboriginality to introduce
and justify the policy program. These representations link Aboriginality to
abuse of Aboriginal children, establishing a debate about the nature and
future of Aboriginality in a context that limits the discursive authority of
Aboriginal people. Aboriginality is represented as savage and in need of
settler-imposed control, and also primitive and in need of development. These
constructions understand Aboriginality temporally, situating it in the past but
providing moral justification for coercing Indigenous people into the settler
present. Aboriginality is also constructed spatially in this discourse, with
prescribed communities framed as the location of both authentic Aboriginality
and of threatening disorder. The intervention is framed as extending
settler authority over this troubling terrain, containing and redeeming
Aboriginality through inclusion in the settler nation’s moral order.

More info:

Published by: Robert Nicholas on Mar 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/07/2012

pdf

text

original

 
This article was downloaded by: [Griffith University]On: 24 October 2011, At: 03:50Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Australian Journal of Political Science
Publication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cajp20
Aboriginality and the NorthernTerritory Intervention
Alissa Macoun
aa
University of QueenslandAvailable online: 23 Aug 2011
To cite this article:
Alissa Macoun (2011):Aboriginality and the Northern Territory Intervention,Australian Journal of Political Science, 46:3, 519-534
To link to this article:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2011.595700
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLEFull terms and conditions of use:http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsThis article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representationthat the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of anyinstructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primarysources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
 
Aboriginality and the Northern TerritoryIntervention
A
LISSA
M
ACOUN
University of Queensland 
Architects and supporters of the Northern Territory Emergency Response(the intervention) mobilised a range of ideas about Aboriginality to introduceand justify the policy program. These representations link Aboriginality toabuse of Aboriginal children, establishing a debate about the nature andfuture of Aboriginality in a context that limits the discursive authority of Aboriginal people. Aboriginality is represented as savage and in need of settler-imposed control, and also primitive and in need of development. Theseconstructions understand Aboriginality temporally, situating it in the past butproviding moral justification for coercing Indigenous people into the settlerpresent. Aboriginality is also constructed spatially in this discourse, withprescribed communities framed as the location of both authentic Abo-riginality and of threatening disorder. The intervention is framed as extendingsettler authority over this troubling terrain, containing and redeemingAboriginality through inclusion in the settler nation’s moral order.
Prominent Aboriginal academic and activist Mick Dodson argued thatrepresentations of Aboriginality have operated as ‘weapons and symptoms of the oppressive relationship that exists between Indigenous people and colonisingstates’, authorising policies of management and control of Indigenous peoples:
Where there was a need to create a boundary between ‘primitive’ and ‘modernman’, to legitimise ‘progress’, to justify particular economic and politicaldevelopments, to promote a national identity for the colonial nation, or morespecifically to control, manage or assimilate Indigenous cultures, Aborigin-ality has been made to fit the bill. In other words, Aboriginality became partof the ideology that legitimised and supported the policies and practices of thestate (Dodson 1994, 7).
Indigenous people have also deployed and contested diverse conceptions of Aboriginality, forming ‘a source of political struggle both within Aboriginal
Alissa Macoun is a PhD candidate in the School of Political Science and International Studies atthe University of Queensland. This article is drawn from her ongoing doctoral research.
Australian Journal of Political Science,Vol. 46, No. 3, September 2011, pp. 519–534
ISSN 1036-1146 print; ISSN 1363-030X online/11/030519-16
Ó
2011 Australian Political Studies AssociationDOI: 10.1080/10361146.2011.595700
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   G  r   i   f   f   i   t   h   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   ]  a   t   0   3  :   5   0   2   4   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   1
 
communities and between them and the Australian state’ (Stokes 1997, 169).The state has played a prominent role in generating constructions of Aboriginality, and ideas about the nature, culture and future of Aboriginalpeople have been created, embedded and operationalised through policyapproaches (Attwood 1989; Beckett 1988a, 193; 1988b; Tyler 1993).This article examines the construction of Aboriginality in more recent publicpolicy reasoning by identifying representations used by the architects andsupporters of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (the intervention). Itsupplements the literature outlined above as well as a growing critical literatureon the intervention (notable examples include Altman and Hinkson 2007; 2010;Manderson 2008; Moreton-Robinson 2009; Stringer 2007; I. Watson 2009) byconsidering the ways constructions of Aboriginality were mobilised during thisrecent articulation of policy.This analysis of ways in which Aboriginality was constructed and deployedby advocates of the Northern Territory intervention from its initiation throughto its legislative passage in June–August 2007 was conducted using methodsoutlined by Carabine (2001). Texts from the period were collected, includingmedia reports, Hansards, speeches, public comments, position papers orstatements on the issue, and key themes and objects of discourse aboutAboriginality were identified. The subject positions, values and logics reflectedand reinforced by these constructions of Aboriginality were assessed andsituated in their context, including discursive traditions and legacies drawn onand power relations generated, recreated and foreclosed.Central to this project is the contention that language is productive, and thatrepresentations do not just reflect meanings and realities but also produce them.Following Foucault ([1978] 1990; [1975] 1991), this involves the claim thatdiscourses and discursive practices are important sites of power relations,constituting objects, events, identities, subjects and truths in particular ways,with material political and other consequences. The primary objective here isnot to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy or desirability of the measuresinvolved, but to identify power relations implicit in and generated by the way inwhich particular settler knowledges and ideas about Aboriginality operate inthis context. This is an important aspect of intervention, but by no means theonly factor in evaluating the policy. Discourses deployed by advocates inpolitical justification and legitimation of the intervention do not constitute theentire discursive field.
1
Similarly, and perhaps more importantly, they do notconstitute the operating reality or reflect how Indigenous people andcommunities experienced the program.This article argues that architects and supporters of the Northern Territoryintervention construct Aboriginality in a range of ways in introducing and justifying the program. First, discussions of abuse of Aboriginal childrenfunction as a site for contestations about the nature and future of Aboriginalityin which the discursive authority of Aboriginal people is limited through theconstruction of Aboriginality as implicated in abuse. Second, Aboriginality is
1
Indigenous people engage, survive, manage and resist settler colonialism in multiple ways; as anon-Indigenous researcher, I do not attempt to evaluate these strategies. This article is thuslargely limited to an analysis of constructions of Aboriginality exercised by settlers and stateactors.
520
A. MACOUN
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   G  r   i   f   f   i   t   h   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y   ]  a   t   0   3  :   5   0   2   4   O  c   t  o   b  e  r   2   0   1   1

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->