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|Title:||The value of autonomy : Christianity, organisation and performance in an Aboriginal community|
|Authors:||O'Donnell, Rosemary Susan|
|Keywords:||Indigenous and non-Indigenous forms of organisation|
forms and orders of value
colonial and post-colonial regimes in Australia
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
|Abstract:||This study traces a particular instance in the evolution of Indigenous organisation at Ngukurr, as it developed from mission to town. It is framed in terms of a contrast between centralised and laterally extended forms of organisation, as characteristic modes associated with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It is also framed in terms of a contrast between orders of value indicative of centralised hierarchies and laterally extended forms of organisation. Central to this account is the way in which evolving social orders provide different foci for the realisation of authority and autonomy in people’s lives at Ngukurr. I trace the ways in which missionaries and government agents have repeatedly presented autonomy to Aboriginal people at Ngukurr as a form of self-sufficiency, both in the course of colonial and post-colonial regimes in Australia. I also trace a failure in Aboriginal affairs policies to recognise forms of sociality and organisation that do not operate to locate the autonomous subject in a hierarchy of relations, premised on the capacity of individuals for economic independence. I also address Aboriginal responses to non-Indigenous interventions at Ngukurr, which have largely differed from missionary and policy aims. I show how Aboriginal evangelism emerged as a response to assimilation initiatives, which affirmed an evolving Indigenous system of differentiation and prestige. I also show how this system has been transformed through dynamics of factionalism associated with the control of resource niches, which has been playing out since the 1970s at Ngukurr. By illustrating how centralised and laterally extended forms of organisation engage each other over time, this study reveals the highly ambiguous values now attending varied realisations of autonomy and expressions of authority in the contemporary situation. There is then a pervasive tension in social relations at Ngukurr, as the dynamism of laterally extended and labile groups continually circumvents the linear pull of centralised hierarchies.|
|Description:||Doctor of Philosophy(PhD)|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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