Changing selves in remote Australia? Observations on Aboriginal family life, childhood and ‘modernisation’

Changing selves in remote Australia? Observations on Aboriginal family life, childhood and ‘modernisation’ Journal Article

Anthropological Forum

  • Author(s): Eickelkamp, Ute
  • Published: 2011
  • Volume: 21

Abstract: The idea of modernity is increasingly called upon to describe and understand change in Indigenous societies, replacing the older paradigms of colonisation, culture change and the short-lived misnomer hybridity. This paper problematises such an approach in the field of Australian Aboriginal Studies, with special attention to the question of whether individualisation and individualism are real phenomena in Aboriginal life-worlds, or else what kind of subjectivities might be in the making. The focus is on childhood as a site of change towards, and resistance to, modern individualism in reference to the history of state and religious interventions into Aboriginal family life.

Notes: Subsections: 'Pressures to Become 'Like All Australians': Context and Contradictions' 'Families and State Intervention' 'Personhood and Individualisation' 'Homo Economicus' - Draws on Austin-Broos to note changes in this direction, Smith on FNQ including individual bank accounts ''It's All in the Name' 'The Self in Symbolic Spaces' - Notes the predicament of Aboriginal subjectivities in the symoblic space of 'contemporary commercial painting'. Increasing recognition of individual artists over regional and local styles and 'schools' [???] - 'it remains to be explored more fully what the aesthetic, social, economic, cultural and personal ramifications for the artists may be.' Cites JvS [1989] - painting as a 'form of self-exhaustion', intensified by the demands of the art market, and requiring an 'evermore demanding investment of the self'. UE ponders if this is yet another modernising 'isolation effect' at work, especially in the insertion of biography into works. [This doesn't leave much scope for considering the cultural aspects of someone like Margaret Boko's paintings].

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Eickelkamp, Ute, 2011, Changing selves in remote Australia? Observations on Aboriginal family life, childhood and ‘modernisation’, Volume:21, Journal Article, viewed 17 August 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=5062.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again