Identity Issues, Basketball and Aboriginality

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Hallinan, Christopher J and Burke, Michael (2006) Identity Issues, Basketball and Aboriginality. In: Sociology for a mobile world : TASA 2006 : annual conference of The Australian Sociological Association, University of Western Australia & Murdoch University, 4-7 December 2006. Colic-Peiske, Val, Tilbury, Farida and McNamara, Bev, eds. The Sociological Association of Australia, Hawthorn, Victoria.


This research was particularly interested in the circumstances and context in which sport might be used by and controlled by Aborigines so as to attend to the process of providing for Aboriginal athletes whilst promoting the culture and values of the Aboriginal community. Specifically, the aims of this research project were to examine the meanings associated with identifying as an Aborigine, an Aboriginal basketballer on a self-described Aboriginal team. All Aboriginal residents of the town come from elsewhere. Via open coding and axial coding we reflected on data generated to discuss the findings around the emergent themes and categories of External Engagement/Perceptions, Importance of Aboriginal Identity, and the Team as a Unique Team. Whereas Cathy Freeman and other Aboriginal champions have been appropriated to serve as exemplars of progressive national unity, the team in our study represent a powerful statement of resolve to re-unite generations of lost and stolen people into a configuration that celebrates real sovereignty. Playing basketball can allow individuals that are subjected to social disadvantage to feel a sense of empowerment and control. In this case, the opportunity arises of Aboriginal success on Aboriginal terms.

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 1740521390
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society
Keywords ResPubID10339, disadvantage, Australian Aboriginal peoples, incarceration rates, early death, educational opportunity, land rights, Indigenous peoples
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