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Abstract

This review covers sociocultural ethnographies of indigenous Australia from the 1970s to the present. It explores three trends: ethnographic reckonings with indigenous encapsulation within a liberal-settler state; the influence of international theoretical emphases; and movements toward an anthropology of the otherwise. The advent of land repossession, and the ethnographic and employment opportunities this created, indelibly shaped the discipline. With their immersion in land rights and native title, anthropologists were also embroiled in the state adjudication of indigeneity. Beyond the courts, the discipline struggled to shake the strictures of area studies and its ongoing, if unrecognized, imbrication in statist cultural logics. Consequently, indigenist anthropologies have not shifted, but perhaps helped affirm, the West's sense of being the apex of modernity. Emergent approaches, which refuse the ossifications of statist logics using forms of immersion and multimedia ethnography, show signs of ways forward.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145734
2012-10-21
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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