Aboriginal Identity Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Van Krieken et al. refer to identity as “who people think they are and also how we see others” (2010, p.255). The term ‘Aboriginal’ was originally used by the British colonists, to identify the diverse tribal groups of Indigenous peoples inhabiting the Australian continent. Although the term was originally used to disempower the Indigenous peoples by way of categorisation to fit into the colonialist view, it has remained today as part of the nations legal definition and also as a term many Indigenous people identify with (Van Krieken et al., 2010, p.257). Trying to define Aboriginal identity is certainly problematic due to the impact that colonisation had upon the Indigenous Australians. The term Aboriginal now encompasses a diverse mix of people living in urban, rural and remote environments who have differing degrees of Indigenous ancestry and relation to traditional …show more content…
Lambert-Pennington examined the urban Aboriginal identity of Kooris in suburban Sydney. Although many of them had little connection to traditional life or language, due to racial intermarriage and the result of the stolen generations, when asked to articulate their concept of identity the common theme of “intra-Aboriginal recognition” was prevalent (2012, p.135). This too is a form of kinship, which in the absence of traditional cultural values of law or land enables Aboriginals in an urban environment to carry on their sense of belonging and sense of identity (Lambert-Pennington, 2012, …show more content…
28). Gilbert (1994, cited in Lumby & McGloin, 2009, p.29) argues that Aboriginal stereotypes including “their black skin, their poverty and shared experiences of persecution and horror” create a sense of commonality. While it is undeniable that Aboriginal people have endured racial atrocities and oppression and share a horrific history, Lumby & McGloin argue that many contemporary Aboriginals do not relate to this “disadvantage = Aboriginality formula.” (2009, p.29). This culture of stereotyping only further hinders the understanding of the complexity of Aboriginal identity, which goes beyond superficial concepts such as race, socio-economic status and indeed skin

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