Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies

Historical and anthropological perspectives

Edited by: Ian Keen

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This volume seeks to contribute to the body of anthropological and historical studies of Indigenous participation in the Australian colonial and post colonial economy. It arises out of a panel on this topic at the annual conference of the Australian Anthropological Society, held jointly with the British and New Zealand anthropological associations in Auckland in December 2008. The panel was organised in conjunction with an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant project on Indigenous participation in Australian economies involving the National Museum of Australia as the partner organisation and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at The Australian National University.

The chapters of the volume bring new theoretical analyses and empirical data to bear on a continuing discussion about the variety of ways in which Indigenous people in Australia have been engaged in the colonial and post-colonial economy. Contributions cover settler capitalism, concepts of property on the frontier, Torres Strait Islanders in the mainland economy, the pastoral industry in the Kimberley, doggers in the Western Desert, bean and pea picking on the South Coast of New South Wales, attitudes to employment in general in western New South Wales, relations of Aboriginal people to mining in the Pilbara, and relations with the uranium mine and Kakadu National Park in the Top End. The chapters also contribute to discussions about theoretical and analytical frameworks relevant to these kinds of contexts and bring critical perspectives to bear on current issues of development.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Dec 2010
ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies, Social Policy & Administration

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Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies »

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  1. Introduction (PDF, 230KB)Ian Keen doi
  2. The emergence of Australian settler capitalism in the nineteenth century and the disintegration/integration of Aboriginal societies: hybridisation and local evolution within the world market (PDF, 264KB)Christopher Lloyd doi
  3. The interpretation of Aboriginal ‘property’ on the Australian colonial frontier (PDF, 258KB)Ian Keen doi
  4. From island to mainland: Torres Strait Islanders in the Australian labour force (PDF, 148KB)Jeremy Beckett doi
  5. Exchange and appropriation: the Wurnan economy and Aboriginal land and labour at Karunjie Station, north-western Australia (PDF, 1.3MB)Anthony Redmond and Fiona Skyring doi
  6. Dingo scalping and the frontier economy in the north-west of South Australia (PDF, 636KB)Diana Young doi
  7. Peas, beans and riverbanks: seasonal picking and dependence in the Tuross Valley (PDF, 323KB)John White doi
  8. ‘Who you is?’ Work and identity in Aboriginal New South Wales (PDF, 182KB)Lorraine Gibson doi
  9. Sustainable Aboriginal livelihoods and the Pilbara mining boom (PDF, 1.1MB)Sarah Holcombe doi
  10. Realities, simulacra and the appropriation of Aboriginality in Kakadu’s tourism (PDF, 433KB)Chris Haynes doi


In the March 2012 edition of Oceania, Diane Austin-Broos reviews Ian Keen’s Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies: historical and anthropological perspectives. She opens with an emphatic assertion “This is a good book”, and praises the collected essays for covering “geographically and temporally…a wide range of Indigenous engagements”. Austin-Broos’ synopsis of the essays in this collection gives an enticing glimpse of what readers can expect from these “textured accounts of local experience”.  She hopes “that other like publications will follow this one either in the form of edited collections of sole authored monographs.”

(Austin-Broos, Diane. Review of Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies: historical and anthropological perspectives, by Ian Keen. Oceania, issue 82 (1), March, 2012.)

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