Ideology in Public Policy: An examination of aggressive paternalism and enculturation in Indigenous assistance programs

Ideology in Public Policy: An examination of aggressive paternalism and enculturation in Indigenous assistance programs Project Resources

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

  • Author(s): Thompson, Lester J, Hil, Richard
  • Published: 2007
  • Publisher: Ninti One Limited and CSIRO
  • Volume: 2

Abstract: Although Australian Government officially rejected a paternal assimilation strategy as public policy in the late 1960s, its policy increasingly encourages Indigenous people to adopt ‘mainstream’ values and objectives. This paper examines contemporary Australian policy directions for their desire to promote conformity. By exploring recent policy responses to Indigenous affairs it considers the resistance that ideologically-imposed objectives foment in subject populations. The paper highlights the weakness of coercive approaches to public policy. The discussion concludes that imposed problem definitions and solutions will not satisfy the needs that liberal traditions uphold as the social agenda of western democratic Government. More importantly, they fail to address the needs and aspirations of Australia’s Indigenous people in any meaningful way.

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