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A dominant culture may treat a subordinate culture with good intentions but very negative outcomes. Give at least one example and discuss reasons for the failure of the effort.

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Introduction

Some of the greatest assaults committed on particular cultures have been with good intentions. In some cases, the cultures just may have different viewpoints as to what is right, or best in that specific situation. For the Australian Aboriginals, the greatest assault may well have been the taking of children from their families; they later became known as the 'Stolen Generation'. These children were then raised among the white community, usually with minimum knowledge of their true identity. This essay will focus on the good intentions of the white Australians, the objective of which was to incorporate these Aboriginal children into the white Australian culture, as well as the reasons for such a drastic failure of this effort. This effort caused families to be torn apart and children to grow up in a culture that was not naturally their own. From the late 1800's until the practice was officially ended in 1969, Indigenous children were taken from their families to be raised by white Australians. This was a common occurrence in every Australian state and could generally be separated into three forms: some children were placed into Government run institutions, others were adopted into white families and the remaining children were fostered into white families (Stolen Generation [accessed July 2003]). The adoption and fostering of Indigenous children was more common among the 'fair-skinned' children, as they were expected to be less conspicuous amongst those children that would become their peers. ...read more.

Middle

one community, the inquiry assumes that the devastation that occurred to so many Indigenous people cannot even begin to be addressed unless the whole Australian community, Indigenous or otherwise, can listen with an open mind and begin to commit itself, as a community to reconciliation. The effort of this reconciliation is designed to hopefully, if not completely, at least somewhat heal and reconcile the peoples of Australia so we can finally call ourselves a community, for the benefit of all Australians. It can be acknowledged that many of the disadvantages suffered by Indigenous peoples today is a result of the degradation and destruction of their culture that occurred in the past. Aboriginal people were assumed to be part of a subordinate culture, so some Indigenous people struggled to develop a sense of self-worth, as they had grown up in a community which assumed their culture was second best. As the Governor General stated in August 1996, The present plight, in terms of health, employment, education, living conditions and self-esteem, of so many Aborigines must be acknowledged as largely flowing from what happened in the past... (Sir William Deane, 1996: 19-21) This led to problems further down the track, and even though a sense of reconciliation is still trying to be developed, it is understandable that Aboriginal people who were part of the Stolen Generation feel they were cheated out of their childhood and nothing can get back the many years they lost with their real families, no matter how many apologies have since been spoken, written or assumed. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was automatically assumed that the culture of the white European settlers was the superior culture, with no effort made to understand the traditions, heritage and structure that the Aboriginal people lived in. This ultimately resulted in tens of thousands of Aboriginal children being taken from their families and the culture within which they had every right to grow up knowing. The effort of white Australians to integrate the two cultures failed because of their small-mindedness and the complete lack of effort they made in understanding Aboriginal culture. How can we assume a culture is superior simply because it is what we understand? The answer is: we can't. An effort should have been made by the white Australians to at least appreciate the culture within which Aboriginal people already lived so they at least had answers to the questions raised years later, of the validity of the movement in the first place. For one culture to presume its superiority is one thing, to then use that influence to break traditions, heritage and beliefs was never going to end in a positive way. Though there were respectable intentions behind the white Australians who separated so many children from their families, the negative outcomes of the movement far outweigh any positive ones and this movement left the Aboriginal people and their culture in a state of disrepair, which is still evident today, many years down the track. Name: Clare Hanrahan ID number: 004881 UCC COMMUNICATION FOUNDATIONS Essay Question: 5) A dominant culture may treat a subordinate culture with good intentions but very negative outcomes. Give at least one example and discuss reasons for the failure of the effort. ...read more.

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