(Im)mobility: regional population structures in Aboriginal Australia

(Im)mobility: regional population structures in Aboriginal Australia Journal Article

Australian Journal of Social Issues

  • Author(s): Morphy, F.
  • Published: 2010
  • Volume: 45

Abstract: The socio-cultural factors underlying contemporary Aboriginal settlement and mobility patterns are invisible to the categorisations that underpin both demographic modelling and policy that relies on that modelling. Taking the Yolngu people of north east Arnhem Land as a case study, this paper elaborates an anchored network model consisting of three tiers - an ontologically prior ancestral geography, with its associated contemporary settlements, to which kin-based networks are anchored by nodal individuals. While the content of each tier may vary across the continent, this model can potentially be applied wherever Aboriginal Australians continue to live in kin-based social universes. It is argued that constructing a 'recognition space' between conventional demographic categories and Aboriginal categorisations of their socio-spatial universes would lead to more informed policy-making on the part of government. Such policies would take account of the aspirations of Aboriginal people rather than imposing upon them the state's aspirations for them.

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Suggested Citation
Morphy, F., 2010, (Im)mobility: regional population structures in Aboriginal Australia, Volume:45, Journal Article, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3732.

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