Culture and the absurd: the means and meanings of Aboriginal identity in the time of cultural revivalism

Culture and the absurd: the means and meanings of Aboriginal identity in the time of cultural revivalism Journal Article

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

  • Author(s): Cowlishaw, Gillian
  • Published: 2012
  • Volume: 18

Abstract: This essay proposes that a fundamental arbitrariness and absurdity at the heart of culture becomes visible in times of radical social change. As the Australian nation attempts to celebrate and revive Aboriginal Culture, and institutions call upon culture to remedy Aboriginal ills, Aboriginal traditions are also being held responsible for present distress and social disorder. However, some Aboriginal people are also developing new relationships with ‘their culture’, taking up opportunities to refashion or construct identities that are free of ancestral power, and encouraging new forms of subjective identification, social recognition, and self-assertion. Equivalent processes are explored in remote and suburban Australia at semiotic, political, and social levels.

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Suggested Citation
Cowlishaw, Gillian, 2012, Culture and the absurd: the means and meanings of Aboriginal identity in the time of cultural revivalism, Volume:18, Journal Article, viewed 08 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4472.

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