Aboriginal Family and the State: The Conditions of History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Aboriginal Family and the State

The Conditions of History, 1st Edition

By Sally Babidge


292 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138278608
pub: 2016-11-16
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780754679356
pub: 2010-01-06
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315565422
pub: 2016-03-23
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Aboriginal Family and the State examines the contemporary relations and history of Indigenous families in Australia, specifically referencing issues of government control and recent official recognition of Aboriginal 'traditional owners'. Drawing on detailed empirical research, it develops a discussion of the anthropological issues of kinship and relatedness within colonial and 'postcolonial' contexts. This volume explores the conditions affecting the formation of 'family' among indigenous people in rural northern Australia, as well as the contingencies of 'family' in the legal and political context of contemporary indigenous claims to land. With a rich discussion of the production, practice and inscription of social relations, this volume examines everyday expressions of 'family', and events such as meetings and funerals, demonstrating that kinship is formed and reformed through a complicated social practice of competing demands on identity.


’It is rare to find an account of Aboriginal experience through time that integrates regional history, indigenous family life, and a critical treatment of the state so convincingly. This study of contemporary indigenous lives is striking both for its intimate accounts of belonging and for its decisive analysis of Australian race relations. The book is beautifully written and draws the reader in.’ Diane Austin-Broos, University of Sydney, Australia 'Babidge makes a substantial contribution to an important body of Australian ethnographic scholarship that interrogates the operation of state power in relation to Indigenous communities and histories… An intelligent, thought-provoking and analytical study, Aboriginal Family and the State will be useful not only for anthropologists and other academic scholars. It should also be read by all who engage with native title issues, as Babidge's insights in this regard are particularly pertinent and meaningful.' Anthropological Forum ’Babidge’s insight is to see those occasions in which both state and Aboriginal cultural formations equally elicit their own forms of recognition out of engagement with each other. In sum, this is a richly detailed and astutely analysed piece of research into the current forms of Aboriginal cultural and social action in rural Australia.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface: kinship, process and history, Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart: Fieldwork, fishing and funerals; Knowledge and control, violence and protection; Under the Act; Family affairs: relations and relatedness; Home, family, polity; Meetings: social practice and the construction of identity; Elders and 'old people'; The sociality of death and funerals; Aboriginal family and the Australian state; Appendix; References; Index

About the Author

Sally Babidge is a Lecturer in Anthropology at The University of Queensland, Australia.

About the Series

Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific

This series offers a comprehensive view of Asian and Indo-Pacific anthropology and cultural history. It carries studies from China, Japan, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the entire Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Focusing mainly on detailed ethnographic studies, the series further incorporates pressing thematic work on issues of cross-regional impact, gender and globalization, precarity, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and alternative medical and wellness-seeking practices. The series aims to link anthropological theory with history and religious studies, with discussions of ritual, politics, religious change, and economics. Studies of adaptation and conflict in small-scale situations enmeshed in wider scale processes of transformation form a particular thematic focus. The series aims to reach a core audience of specialists in Asian and Pacific studies, but also to be accessible and valuable to a broader multidisciplinary readership.

If you are interested in proposing a book for the series please contact: strather@pitt.edu / pamjan@pitt.edu

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General