The metaphor of “movement” has been applied in limited measure to indigenous action in Australia, and more to recent events (∼1960s and afterwards) than to earlier ones. This review characterizes movement in social-semiotic terms that allow consideration of such a notion over a longer time span and range of social circumstances than is usual in Australianist literature. Examination of a limited number of relatively well-documented cases from differing times and places reveals differences in the grounds of action and kinds of objectification that movements appear to have involved and also a continuing shift toward shared indigenous-nonindigenous understandings and forms of activism in the face of persisting social differentiation. The arguably limited impact of indigenous movements needs to be considered in the light of systematic constraints on them.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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