Aboriginal Agency and Marginalisation in Australian Society

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Aboriginal Agency and Marginalisation in Australian Society


  • Terry Moore School of Humanities, University of Tasmania, Australia


Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 7303 | Downloads: 5379


Abstract:  It is often argued that while state rhetoric may be inclusionary, policies and practices may be exclusionary. This can imply that the power to include rests only with the state. In some ways, the implication is valid in respect of Aboriginal Australians. For instance, the Australian state has gained control of Aboriginal inclusion via a singular, bounded category and Aboriginal ideal type. However, the implication is also limited in their respect. Aborigines are abject but also agents in their relationship with the wider society. Their politics contributes to the construction of the very category and type that governs them, and presses individuals to resist state inclusionary efforts. Aboriginal political elites police the performance of an Aboriginality dominated by notions of difference and resistance. The combined processes of governance act to deny Aborigines the potential of being both Aboriginal and Australian, being different and belonging. They maintain Aborigines’ marginality.

Keywords:  Aboriginal Australians; difference; discourse; identity politics; performative; social inclusion

Published:   17 September 2014


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v2i3.38


© The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.