The Politics of Identity

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More About This Title The Politics of Identity


This award-winning work explores the complexities surrounding contemporary Aboriginal identity. Drawing on a range of historical and research literature, interviews and surveys, The Politics of Identity explores Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal understandings of Aboriginality and the way these concepts are produced and reproduced across a range of sites and contexts. Carlson discusses the multiple, yet narrow definitions of Aboriginal identity that have existed throughout Australia’s colonial history and its continuing impact upon contemporary Aboriginal identities. Emphasizing Indigenous debates and claims about Aboriginality, the work explores both the community and external tensions around appropriate measures of identity and the pressures and effects of identification. An analysis of online Indigenous communities on social media that have emerged as sites of contestation adds to the growing knowledge in this area, both nationally and globally. This is a brave and personal contribution to the often vexed subject of Aboriginal identity and offers a distinctive and fresh line of analysis.


Bronwyn Carlson is an Aboriginal woman who was born and lives on D’harawal Country in NSW Australia. She is the first Indigenous Australian at the University of Wollongong to be granted an Australian Research Council, Discovery Indigenous Award in 2014 for her research on Aboriginal identity and community on social media. She is currently an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Wollongong.