University Of Tasmania

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Teaching race to teach Indigeneity

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 21:42 authored by Margaret WalterMargaret Walter, Butler, K
Australia is a relatively new nation state built on colonisation and settler migration. These origins situate Australia’s First Peoples and Indigenous/settler and nation-state relationships as central aspects of contemporary Australian society. It would seem logical to conclude that Australian sociology curricula would include a substantial range of units and courses with Indigenous themes and content. Yet, this is not the case. Indigenous sociology is largely absent from the sociology curriculum within tertiary education. In this article we argue that the lack of the Indigenous is not an oversight but can be linked to a normalisation of a more general disengagement of the discipline with the key social force of race. Apart from consistent description of Indigenous disadvantage, Indigenous and race issues are presumed to sit outside the realm of mainstream Australian sociology. We use Whiteness and Critical Race theories to explain how this curriculum absence can be seen as a particular Australian praxis of Whiteness and colour-blind racism. Our own experiences as Aboriginal sociologists in mainstream sociology departments provide the empirical base to show how Whiteness, and its privileging practices, pervades the Australian sociology curricula. Our argument extends to addressing the pedagogic challenges faced by lecturers presenting Indigenous content to a largely Euro-Australian student body.


Publication title

Journal of Sociology










School of Social Sciences


Sage Publications Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Australian Sociological Association

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services not elsewhere classified

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