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People and Change in Indigenous Australia$
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Diane Austin-Broos and Francesca Merlan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824867966

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824867966.001.0001

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Predicaments of Proximity

Predicaments of Proximity

Revising Relatedness in a Warlpiri Town

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter 2 Predicaments of Proximity
Source:
People and Change in Indigenous Australia
Author(s):

Yasmine Musharbash

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824867966.003.0003

Relatedness has been a fundamental notion in recent studies of Aboriginal personhood. My research asks how people who ‘form a mob' decide with whom to do this and for how long. The concept of relatedness—while useful—distracts the ethnographic gaze away from those relations not captured by relatedness—away from considering non-realisations, and different ways of relating to others (e.g., Aboriginal ways of relating to non-Indigenous people). Three case studies illustrate that we need clearer understanding of relatedness and its non-realization. The first two are concerned with non-relating between kin and the ensuing emotional burden carried by all involved. The last case study, about relations between Aboriginal camps and non-Indigenous neighbours, offers a glimpse into non-relating without toxicity, and shows why this template does not work in the intra-Aboriginal domain.

Keywords:   Personhood, relatedness, fighting, emotional toxicity, Warlpiri people

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