Moorn (Black)? Djardak (White)? How come I don't fit in Mum?: Exploring the racial identity of Australian Aboriginal children and youth

Kickett-Tucker, Cheryl
June 2009
Health Sociology Review;Jun2009, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p119
Academic Journal
This study explored the racial identity of Indigenous children and youth who attended urban, state and private primary and secondary schools in the Noongar[i] region of urban Perth in Western Australia. Thirty five Australian Indigenous children aged 8-12 were interviewed and 120 youth aged 13-17 participated in focus groups. Transcripts were analysed and common themes were identified by extracting relevant responses and their meanings. The components of racial identity for children aged 7-12 and youth were very similar such that culture, family, language and appearance featured. The most reported element of racial identity for young children was culture which comprised of eight sub-elements. Young people however, reported that a strong sense of self was the most important contributor to their racial identity and it comprised of ten sub-elements. Indigenous youth perceived that their racial identity is exposed to others' attitudes, values and behaviours because according to them 'identity is about what you look like and how others see you'. [i] Noongar can be spelled in a number of ways and this paper has adopted the above spelling. Noongar is a collective term that denotes Aboriginal people of the south-west of Western Australia (Palmer & Collard 1993).


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