Book Chapter

Murrinhpatha personhood, other humans, and contemporary youth

J Mansfield

People and Change in Indigenous Australia | University of Hawaii Press | Published : 2018


The traditional Murrinhpatha conception of personhood is similar to what has been observed in other Australian Aboriginal societies, conceiving of the self as a node in a relational network of kinship. But since town settlement, traditional social roles have been radically reconfigured, with a series of economic and ideological factors conspiring to deprecate the role of young men. Murrinhpatha youth respond by embracing a rebellious sub-cultural identity, drawing on mass- media sources to re-imagine themselves as other types of persons. The Murrinhpatha language makes this re-imagining of personhood unusually explicit, since it uses separate grammatical categories to encode socially recogni..

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University of Melbourne Researchers