The Aborigines of Australia: Problems of Social IntegrationBearbeiten

Aboriginal Culture

  • Animism → belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings
    • no separation between spiritual world and physical world
  • Land = the core of belief = spirituality
  • Ancestor spirits created all living forms (animals, plants, rocks) and their relationships
    • Sacred sites (e.g. Uluru a.k.a. Ayers Rock)
    • learning of these sites: process of initiation → “Songlines” / Dreaming track


  • Aborigines have inhabited Australia for at least 25,000 years
  • 1770: Captain Cook arrives in Australia, population estimated between 300,000 and 700,000 Aborigines
  • many died due to European diseases (90% smallpox)
  • 1806: racism peaked
    • sacred Aboriginal places violated
    • Aboriginals hunted like animals
  • 1850s: Policy of Protection
    • Paternalism: white people are inherently superior to Aborigines
    • Europeans believed that, because the Aboriginal culture didn’t live up to their standards, they were therefore primitive, and in need of Europeans’ help
    • ‘Protectorates’ were established, Aboriginals were to be civilized, educated to European standards, converted to Christianity
    • Church missions set up to Christianize and civilize the ‘natives’
    • 1901: even after independence, Aborigines had no rights
  • 1950s: Policy of Assimilation
    • encouraging Aboriginal people to move away from their traditional cultures and adopt the Australian way of life (--> Aboriginal culture to dissolve into a European culture)
    • Assimilation Act → Stolen Generation
    • by 1965: population sunk to 40,000 → 'Dying race'
  • 1869-1969: The Stolen Generation
    • Aboriginal children kidnapped from their families
    • cultural 'reprogramming' → integrate into white society
    • however, failed: reconnection with indigenous culture → still suffered from poor health, alcohol abuse, unemployment, etc.
  • 1960s: Policy of Integration
    • Policy of Assimilation failed → people still clung to own cultures
    • Integration: maintain traditional cultures whilst becoming part of the larger Australian community
  • 1970s: Policy of Self-determination
    • States repealed anti-Aboriginal laws, government stopped trying to destroy Aboriginal culture
    • End of Stolen Generation
    • Self-determination:
1. Aboriginals should receive the same rights and freedoms as non-Aboriginals
2. Aboriginals determine themselves how they want to live
3. Aboriginals should have a voice in policies that affect them


  • little under half a million Aboriginal people in Australia today → 2.3% of Australian population (incl. Torres Strait Islander)

Political initiatives

  • Formal apology to Australia's Indigenous people (2008)
    • --> Stolen Generation
    • "for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence in the future" (PM Kevin Rudd)
  • constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians (2010)
    • “to acknowledge the special place of our first peoples”
    • building a nation based on strong relations and mutual respect
    • a nation that is united in recognizing and acknowledging the unique and special place of “our first peoples”
  • Closing the Gap Initiative (main)
    • to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, and in particular provide a better future for Indigenous children
    • education, housing and health
    • a clear focus on overcoming Indigenous disadvantage

  • however, still too many imbalances in living standards, life expectancy, education, health and employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Indigenous Australians Non-Indigenous Australians
Unemployment rate 27% 13%
Completion of year 12 38% 73%
obesity 61% 48%
Average weekly earning $364 $585
smoker 50% 22%
Average death 60 years 84 years

  • life expectancy for indigenous Australians lower by 11.5 years (males) and 9.7 years (females)
  • most common occupation group for employed Indigenous people: Labourers (24%) in contrast: most common occupation group for non-Indigenous people: Professionals (20%)
  • 33% of the Indigenous Australians will go to prison at some stage of their life
  • suicide rate is three times higher for Indigenous Australians than non-Indigenous Australians
  • substance abuse : alcoholism, petrol sniffing
    • 'Dry Zones' or Kava (plant whose roots are sedating w/o disrupting mental clarity)


  • Aborigines today face many problems as a result of the colonial project
    • their numbers decimated
    • discrimination
    • socially, economically and politically underprivileged

Störung durch Adblocker erkannt!

Wikia ist eine gebührenfreie Seite, die sich durch Werbung finanziert. Benutzer, die Adblocker einsetzen, haben eine modifizierte Ansicht der Seite.

Wikia ist nicht verfügbar, wenn du weitere Modifikationen in dem Adblocker-Programm gemacht hast. Wenn du sie entfernst, dann wird die Seite ohne Probleme geladen.

Auch bei FANDOM

Zufälliges Wiki