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Aboriginality, Identity and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond

Brown, Duncan (2001). Aboriginality, Identity and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond. English in Africa, 28(1) pp. 67–90.

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Amongst the most pressing, and apparently intractable, problems facing postcolonial societies are the rights of peoples known variously as aboriginal peoples, first peoples or first nations: rights to land, self-determination, natural resources, mineral deposits, the preservation of sacred sites or customs, and so on. While some claims for aboriginal rights have been successful, they are often considered - in contexts of modern democracy, global capitalism and advanced technology - to be at best atavistic, or at worst completely incommensurable with their context. In this article I wish to consider whether the nature of such claims, indeed the nature of the societies which make them, is so 'different' - so removed from the concerns of modernity and postmodernity - or whether there are not also important aspects of 'identity'. Such a consideration may shed light not only on 'their' claims and concerns, but also on 'our' society and its often hubristic assumptions.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0376-8902
Keywords: Literary studies; cultural studies; anthropology; law; ethnography; aboriginality.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 7717
Depositing User: Duncan Brown
Date Deposited: 23 May 2007
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:27
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