Wards, words and citizens: A.P. Elkin and Paul Hasluck on assimilation

McGregor, Russell (1999) Wards, words and citizens: A.P. Elkin and Paul Hasluck on assimilation. Oceania, 69 (4). pp. 243-259.

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Abstract

This paper explores some of the ambivalences and contestations within assimilationist discourses in mid-twentieth century Australia. It focuses on the writings of A.P. Elkin, using Paul Hasluck's utterances mainly insofar as they throw Elkin's arguments into sharper relief. While Hasluck's version of assimilation was based on the assumptions of liberal individualism, Elkin drew upon ideas of cultural progress and social anthropology (among other intellectual currents) to propound a less totalising form of assimilation, wherein the attainment of citizenship could be reconciled with the retention of Aboriginal identity and cultural distinctiveness. Even so, Elkin had misgivings about cultural diversity and insisted on the need for expert scientific management in attaining the recommended reconciliation.

Item ID: 10657
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: assimilation; aboriginal; Elkin, A.P.; Hasluck, Paul; anthropology; history of Australian aborigines
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ISSN: 1834-4461
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2010 04:09
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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