Assimilation as acculturation: A.P. Elkin on the dynamics of cultural change

McGregor, Russell (2005) Assimilation as acculturation: A.P. Elkin on the dynamics of cultural change. In: Rowse, Tim, (ed.) Contesting Assimilation. Symposia Series . API Network, Perth, WA, Australia, pp. 169-183.

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Abstract

[Extract] The anthropologist A P Elkin was surely Australia's most longstanding advocate of Aboriginal assimilation. For half a century he pushed the policy, from the late 1920's and 1930s, when socio-cultural assimilation was an innovative and challenging doctrine; through the post-war decades, when it gained the imprimatur of the state; into the 1960s and 1970s, when assimilation came into increasingly bad odour among those committed to Aboriginal welfare. Inevitably, over such a vast time-span, his conceptions of assimilation were not entirely consistent Indeed, he did not use the term at all until the late 1930s, and not until the late 1940s as a general term to encompass the processes of sociocultural change facing Aboriginal people. However, there is sufficient consistency of terminology and conceptual content to allow the word 'assimilation' to stand. Throughout his career, he urged the inclusion of Aboriginal people as equal citizens within the Australian nation, and their acquisition of the cultural forms and social norms of modernity.

Item ID: 464
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: assimilation; Australia; history; anthropology; Elkin, A.P.; Aboriginal Australians; government policy
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ISBN: 978-1-920845-15-5
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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