Ideas and practices relating to work, productivity and leisure are a source of much disagreement and ill feeling between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. For dominant Western cultures, labour in its most common guise of ‘work’ offers a cogent means through which people come to know themselves and become known to others (Crawford 1985). How does this notion translate to Indigenous social realms? This chapter offers an ethnographically grounded examination of the intersections between work, employment and identity for Indigenous people living in a country town in far western New South Wales, Australia.1 What does it mean to be a productive and valued person within Aboriginal society and in what ways is this tied to and/or antithetical to participation in the mainstream economy? How are Aboriginal people figuring ideas of work and productivity as a means to forging a particular identity? This chapter explores the tacit and reflexive cultural import of these questions and some of their lived effects.
|Title of host publication||Indigenous participation in Australian economies|
|Subtitle of host publication||historical and anthropological perspectives|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publisher||ANU E Press|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|