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The Racialisation of Feeling in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal Australia: Anger and Aboriginal Contact with the Law

Cefai, Sarah (2011). The Racialisation of Feeling in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal Australia: Anger and Aboriginal Contact with the Law. In: Riggs, Damien W. and Due, Clemence Directions and Intersections, Surfers Paradise, QLD, 7-9 December 2011.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 82792645xPUB2
Author Cefai, Sarah
Title The Racialisation of Feeling in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal Australia: Anger and Aboriginal Contact with the Law
Conference Name Directions and Intersections
Conference Location Surfers Paradise, QLD
Conference Dates 7-9 December 2011
Conference Publication Title Directions and Intersections: Proceedings of the 2011 Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association and Indigenous Studies Research Network Joint Conference
Editor Riggs, Damien W.
Due, Clemence
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
Publication Year 2011
Volume Number 1
ISSN 978-0-646-56682-5   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 54
End Page 69
Total Pages 15
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DIISR)
Abstract This paper addresses the question: What is at stake in reframing ‘social problems’ as problems of feeling? In the Northern Territory, the political discourse on ‘social problems’, such as the prevalence of criminal offences involving alcohol, is commonplace in representations of Aboriginal Australia. This political discourse problematizes Indigenous, alcohol-related crime, by measuring the success or failure of state sponsored intervention. This paper argues that this discourse fundamentally misrepresents the ‘social problem’ of the Aboriginal consumption of alcohol because it averts the existence of feelings. Further, I claim that the aversion of (and to) feeling is embedded in the politics of race in the Australian imaginary. In order to understand how the discourse on ‘social problems’ functions, I draw attention to what I call the ‘institutionalisation of feeling’ and the ‘racialisation of feeling’. Drawing on examples from policy, political talk, and academic representation, I endeavour to show how the institutionalisation and racialisation of feeling are interconnected processes that colour multiple aspects of Aboriginal contact with the law. I therefore contend that what is at stake in reframing ‘social problems’ as problems of feeling is the capacity to critically analyse the social construction of racist thought.
Description for Link Link to published version
URL http://www.acrawsa.org.au/files/pdf/ConferenceProceedings2011.pdf
 
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