Anthropology and Politics


Arena’s review of Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson (eds) Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia UNSW Press, Sydney, 2010 starts

The complex domain referred to in shorthand as ‘Indigenous affairs’ has always been contested space. Since colonisation, the dominant response to the original inhabitants of this country has ranged form hostility to fear, and from curiosity to ambivalence, tempered at times by compassion, and eventually governed by frustration. Governments have reflected these changes in public sentiment through policy that has in turn sought to obliterate, assimilate or ‘develop’ Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Understanding this volatile historical background is essential if readers are to fully appreciate this excellent collection of essays and the political and academic context from which it emerged.

They like the book, btw, which means I had better read it



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