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Theorising survival: Indigenous women and social and emotional wellbeing

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Product Description

By Jennifer Baker

Published: 2012
ISBN: 978-0-646575-78-0
Pages: 212
Imprint: Post Pressed

Overview

"The great strength of this work lies in the way that the author structures the argument to show how Indigenous peoples have been marginalized by the artificial separation of the humanities and the sciences and by the separation of theory and practice. The author positions the Indigenous subject in health science research and health science texts and then applies a theoretical model of alterity drawn from transnational cultural studies and feminist studies of the history of the philosophy of science. She argues that a framework that includes the history of race in relation to Indigenous peoples is critical to making even the most radical forms of counselling and therapy relevant for Indigenous people."

Professor Lyndall Ryan, University of Newcastle

The great strength of this work lies in the way that the author structures the argument to show how Indigenous peoples have been marginalized by the artificial separation of the humanities and the sciences and by the separation of theory and practice. The author positions the Indigenous subject in health science research and health science texts and then applies a theoretical model of alterity drawn from transnational cultural studies and feminist studies of the history of the philosophy of science. She argues that a framework that includes the history of race in relation to Indigenous peoples is critical to making even the most radical forms of counselling and therapy relevant for Indigenous people."

Professor Lyndall Ryan, University of Newcastle

Jennifer Baker is a Mirning woman whose mother and grandmother were born either side of the Nullarbor Plain on the southern coast of Australia. She has a PhD and a Master of Primary Health Care from Flinders University in South Australia and trained as a registered nurse at the Adelaide Children's Hospital Inc in the early 1970s.
She is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit in
the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Jenny Baker is a Mirning woman whose mother and grandmother were born either side of the Nullarbor Plain on the southern coast of Australia. She has a PhD and a Master of Primary Health Care from Flinders University in South Australia and trained as a registered nurse at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital Inc in the early 1970s.
She is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Table of Contents

Chapter Contents

Introduction: Knowing the other and the “worlding of a world” ...... 13
I’m (no longer) someone from the government........ 15
The Chapters: Writing from an interdisciplinary space ..... 16
Connecting with work on health and healing ...... 18

1. Not another Native Informant .... 23
Notions of ‘consciousness’ as a basis for colonial barbarism .... 23
The ‘worlding of the world’ at Fowler’s Bay ..... 26
Deconstructing the researcher .... 28
Surveillance of the ‘raced’ subject ..... 29
Deconstructing surveillance regimes ...... 31
Mindful interrogation ..... 35
Senator Herron ...... 36
The authority of a signifier ...... 38
A yearning ..... 39
It is not post-colonial ....... 41
A health science system in the neo-colonial space ..... 42
Feminist critiques of science and colonialism ....... 44
Aiming for ‘strong objectivity’ ........ 46

2. Reconstructing gender and ‘race’ relations after the frontier ....... 49
Into the ‘archives of pain’........... 49
Genocide and the collection of ‘specimens’ for the ‘racial’ hierarchy ..... 52
Just some unconscious finagling? ........... 54
The fetishism of measurement and the rise of ‘biopolitics’ ........ 56
The dissection of race and gender: The case of Sarah Bartmann .......... 58
Race and gender; what is the connection? ......... 61
The arrival of the medical gaze signifying race and sex (gender) in this place ...... 62
A murderous frontier as western colonial thought moves across the land ....... 63
The coming of the ‘civilised’: murder, violence, slavery .......... 65
Rape and abduction ............ 66
A rationale for genocide: ideas of miscegenation and eugenics ....... 68
Profound surveillance and the finalising of policies of control .......... 70

3. Consciousness, abjection and the colonised subject............. 73
Who ‘cares’? .............. 74
Defining our health ........................... 75
In the aftermath of the frontier .................... 76
The simultaneous operations of abjection and subjection .............................. 78
The author in the text: are they speaking to the ‘hunter-gatherer’? .................. 79
Psychoanalysis and the psyche of the non-European ................................. 81
Psychoanalysis: Subverting but still sustaining the colonial discourse ............ 85
Psychoanalysts serving colonialism ......................... 87
Subversion: an Indian becomes an analyst .............. 88
Australia in the 1930s: psychic subjugation ..................... 89
Carl Jung’s incorporation of news from the Australian frontier ..................... 90
More subversion: Franz Fanon dissects French colonialism in Algeria ........... 91
1950s: Updating the discourse - the ‘dependent’ mind of the colonised .......... 93
Psychic subjugation through exclusion and self blame .................... 94
Internal/external critiques: institutionalisation versus politico-ethical action ...... 96
Why mention the ‘savage’? ......................... 97
Resistance continues ....................... 98

4: Pain as a catalyst for change, for working for change. ................ 103
Background to the interviews with Nunga women ....................... 104
The connection to the Aboriginal Women’s Health and Well-being Forum .......... 104
Nunga women who work for government ................ 106
We will not be native informants ............... 108
Arrogant perception ...................... 109
Under surveillance by everyone ..................... 110
Generalised individual-based frameworks that exclude colonial history ........ 112
Just who can go there? ....................... 113
Negotiating for cultural safety ......................... 114
What’s valued and what is ‘value’? ...................... 115
Three examples to contextualise the barriers ............................ 116
Partnerships that move past barriers and imposed systems ............ 120
A partnership on social and emotional wellbeing ................. 122
Challenging policies from within ................................ 123
Government workers and community controlled services ....................... 125
The Aboriginal Women’s Health and Healing Project, Narrative Therapy and the
Family Well-being Program ................................. 127
It’s not about clinical health service provision ........................ 128

5: ‘Changing the terms of the conversation’ and moving from “a
survival mentality to a living mentality”. ................ 131
Recalling and remembering ..................................... 131
Displacing western universalism, clinical diagnoses and justice ............. 132
Subjugating terms .................. 136
Maintaining the system: usurping the term but not the intent .............. 138
‘Just’ Therapy: acknowledging the context of colonialism in New Zealand .... 141
Narrative Therapy and the Camp Coorong Gathering ................ 143
Criticisms of the intellectualisation in Narrative Therapy ............... 144
The ‘unseen’ risks in Narrative Therapy ........................ 148
Challenging the authority/power of the therapist: lessons from New Zealand ... 149
The Family Well-Being Program .......................... 151
Institutionalisation: from community to individual focus ............. 153
The evaluation of the Family Well-Being program .......................... 153
The claim that a counselling approach is ‘Aboriginal’ .............. 154
“... the coloniser looks black” ............................ 155
What would a ‘healing’ approach look like? ...................... 156

6: Borderlands: What is happening there? .......... 159
The border between the social sciences and the humanities............. 160
Caring for land ..................... 160
The language of pain .............. 161
Government, social science and evidence for policy changes ............. 162
Changing the terms .............................. 163
Different definitions bring different approaches ............... 164
An example of a ‘border-crossing’ ........................ 165
Borderlands: Places where the coloniality of power is still enacted ........... 166
Cultural context and ideology ................................ 167
De-contextualisation .................................. 168
The language and ideology of individualism ......... 170
First Nations and counselling ................................. 171
Western individuality and the act of confession ...................... 172
The ‘archaeology’ of the space in which counselling occurs ........... 173
Redressing cultural loss ........................... 173
Refusing to surrender .......................... 174
Building partnerships and possibilities ....................... 174
Trauma and burn-out: healing yourself first ................. 176

7: Land and spirit: Old ways of being .................. 179
‘Culture’ both defines and maintains health ........................... 179
Incentives, or if not, punishment ......................................... 181
Agents of change not objects subjects for further punishment ............ 183
The determination to recover and restore ................ 184
The ‘authoritative knowers’ maintain their neo-colonial roles............... 185
Remembering the pain suffered by past generations .................... 187
“What about our men”: the suffering of Aboriginal men .................. 188
Services that ignore kinship and gender ................................... 190
Aboriginal men and social and emotional wellbeing .................. 191
Healing and family violence ...................................... 193
Developing approaches with community agreement .................... 195
The “Bell-Huggins debate” ....................................................... 197

8. Conclusion: Abjection denies a future of shared joys ................. 201
Negative portrayals ‘earn’ attention ...................................... 201
Presenting as the ‘docile body’ .................................................... 203
Overwhelmed: 15th May 2006 ...................................................... 203
Racist exclusion from a common ‘culture’ ....................................... 205
We are not “contemporary ancestors’ ............................................ 206
Commitment to ‘strong objectivity’ ................................................. 208
The yearning for change and wellbeing ........................................... 209
Bibliography ................................................................................. 211

Reviews

“The great strength of this work lies in the way that the author structures the argument to show how Indigenous peoples have been marginalized by the artificial separation of the humanities and the sciences and by the separation of theory and practice. The author positions the Indigenous subject in health science research and health science texts and then applies a theoretical model of alterity drawn from transnational cultural studies and feminist studies of the history of the philosophy of science. She argues that a framework that includes the history of race in relation to Indigenous peoples is critical to making even the most radical forms of counselling and therapy relevant for Indigenous people.”

Professor Lyndall Ryan, University of Newcastle

“This is a very important piece of work and the researcher is to be congratulated for what she has achieved. It represents both a personal voyage of discovery and an important contribution to contemporary understanding of Indigenous affairs in Australia and to Indigenous practice in the fields of counselling, community development, policy analysis and theorising.”

Associate Professor David Legge, La Trobe University


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