Respecting cultural differences vs ‘othering’

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Introspection by Giulia Marangoni

As researchers in the interpretivist paradigm we are expected to grapple and come to some sort of understanding of our participants’ worldview. This strikes me as an impossible task. When asked, my supervisors assured me that it is in fact impossible, but as long as we accept that we have tried our best and engage in reflective practice that our research will be robust. I find it difficult to come to terms with these concepts especially since my research focuses on Aboriginal culture. I feel as though it would be the height of stupidity to pretend to have even a basic understanding of their worldview. Although my professors raised the point that perhaps I am actually doing the Aboriginal community a disservice by assuming that we have vastly different worldviews. How do I navigate the line between ‘othering’ the Indigenous community and respecting the fact that cultural differences exist?

The Second Stolen Generation

Photo taken of a protest march in 2014. Original image on stopstolengenerations.com.au

The facts:

In 2008, then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a ground breaking apology to the Stolen Generations. Many thought that this would be a momentous step toward reconciliation and a fresh start for Aboriginal Australians.

Instead, removal rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have increased by 65 per cent since Kevin Rudd said sorry to the Stolen Generations. This has largely gone unreported by the Australian media.

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About Me

ASAspeaker

Annelie de Villiers

I am a research archivist based in Melbourne, Australia.

My research interests include:

  • Interoperable systems and systemic thinking
  • Personal archives and identity formation
  • Digital humanities
  • Archives and social justice
  • Coding

Learn more about my research activities here.