Assimilation and the Re-Invention of Barbarism

6 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2009

See all articles by Chris Cunneen

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney; James Cook University - Cairns Campus

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 8, 2008

Abstract

There are many points of critique to current federal policies in relation to Indigenous people in Australia. I want to draw out one point: the renewed ascendancy of a discourse of barbarism and primitivism about Indigenous people. This is primarily the idea that Indigenous people are uncivilised, primitive and barbaric, and that Indigenous culture is not only worthless, it is also a significant hindrance to social, cultural, legal and economic development. There has been a developing ascendancy of this position (assimilation to Anglo-Australia values = civilisation; Indigenous culture = barbarism) over the last decade.

It is necessary to recognise that there have been gains in the assertion of rights of Indigenous people in the area of justice. While the developments have been uneven across jurisdictions, there needs to be recognition that the processes for establishing a more coherent approach to Indigenous law and order are being put in place. These gains need to be defended and supported.

Keywords: Domestic Relations, Human Rights Law

Suggested Citation

Cunneen, Chris, Assimilation and the Re-Invention of Barbarism (March 8, 2008). UNSW Law research series 2008-3; Published in the Australian Indigenous Law Review, Vol. 11, pp 42-45, 2007; UNSW Law Research Series 2008-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1392027

Chris Cunneen (Contact Author)

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

PO Box 6811
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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