Aboriginal woman and University of Wollongong Associate Professor, Bronwyn Carlson has outlined complexities facing Aboriginal people in contemporary Australia in her new book, ‘The Politics of Identity.’
A/Prof. Carlson examines how a narrow definition of what it means to Aboriginal has affected Indigenous Australian’s self-identity. She said Australian society still operates under a racist-colonial mind-frame by focusing on aspects such as skin colour to define a person’s Aboriginality.
A/Prof. Carlson’s research asserts white Australia’s undue scrutiny of what is Aboriginality has gone together with a denial of Australia’s racist past, specifically pointing to Australia’s past eugenics programs.
The personal experience of people like Tracy McCutcheon, a student at UOW, supports A/Prof. Carlson’s findings. Ms McCutcheon found her light skin meant her Aboriginal identity was constantly scrutinised by those who didn’t identify as Aboriginal themselves.
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