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Social resilience: challenging neo-colonial thinking and practices around ‘risk’.

Social resilience: challenging neo-colonial thinking and practices around ‘risk’.

Understandings of resilience which primarily focus on the individual are of limited applicability unless we recognise the historical, economic and political factors in which social life occurs. To explore the social foundations of resilience is to chart the ongoing influence of these factors. An appreciation of this context is pivotal to any understanding of the current situation of indigenous young Australians. social and economic disadvantage which so profoundly affects indigenous Australian populations is directly attributable to effects of colonial policy, institutionalised discrimination and contemporary racism. The neo-colonial continuation of such practices can be seen in the reproduction of Aboriginality as problematic, and indigenous people as at high risk and requiring intensive intervention and governance.

The social determinants of resilience are thereby obscured by a focus on particular individual risk factors. Understanding and acknowledging social resilience acts as a counterforce to this approach. A group of indigenous young men participating in research exploring the development of social resilience decided to confront the problems they experienced in their rural community. This paper discusses the themes central to social resilience that are highlighted by these young men, and which challenge or subvert the notion of Aboriginality as problematic. the innovative processes that these young indigenous men have set in train are described. They overturn traditional thinking and practice about ‘risk’.

Speakers: Dr Fran Gale
Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Risk factors

Risk factors

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