Prefigurative activism, state engagement, and agency in the Townsville Aboriginal movement

Petray, Theresa Lynn (2012) Prefigurative activism, state engagement, and agency in the Townsville Aboriginal movement. In: Proceedings of The Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association. pp. 1-12. From: 2012 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association, 26–29 November 2012, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

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Abstract

Aboriginal people are often presented in the media and popular discourses as marginalised, powerless, and oppressed. These stereotypes are based on a long history, statistics, and they are undoubtedly a reality for many people. However, the assumption that all Aboriginal people are downtrodden denies the considerable agency that is possessed. This paper will examine the way that activists exercise agency in the form of prefigurative activism – that is, instead of reactive protest, the establishment of meaningful alternatives to a system. Using archival and ethnographic research, this paper will discuss the prefigurative activism of Aboriginal people in Townsville, primarily in the form of the Black Community School (1970s) and Black Community Meetings (present day). Through these contexts, I explore the ways in which activists engage with (or not) the Australian state, the ways they claim agency for themselves and their community, and the alternatives they hope to embody.

Item ID: 24039
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-646-58783-7
Keywords: Aboriginal, activism, free spaces, agency, prefigurative
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2013 00:40
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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