Cultures in dialogue : communicating Noongar culture to non-Aboriginal people in Southwest Australia

Ghislaine Van Maanen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated] Based on fifteen months fieldwork, this thesis is an ethnographic account of cross­cultural engagements between Noongar and non-Aboriginal people, focussing on the Perth metropolitan area, Western Australia. I have engaged equally with Aboriginal (mainly Noongar) and non-Aboriginal people and gathered detailed data that allow me to investigate the social processes of cross-cultural interactions. The thesis also presents ethnographic material focussed on contemporary Noongar cultural practices. The first chapter begins with a brief reflection on the notion of culture, as the use of the term by participants was prevalent throughout my fieldwork. This is followed by an overview of the structure of the thesis. I make the point that interactions between Noongar and non-Aboriginal people are complex and, at first sight, hard to define because they derive from separate influences. I have identified three factors involved in cross-cultural processes: people's actions, social settings and cultural knowledge. This finding is refected in the three sections of the thesis: people's agency in cross-cultural engagement (Part One), finding a common ground: the intercultural body of knowledge (Part Two) and the constraints imposed by the Australian economy in shaping cross­cultural engagement (Part Three).
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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  • This thesis has been made available in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of a UWA Library project to digitise and make available theses completed before 2003. If you are the author of this thesis and would like it removed from the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, please contact


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