The Psychological and Social Consequences of Trauma and Race Relations on the Australian Indigenous People

By Janice A. Walters.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Following colonization, the Australian settlers’ perception of the indigenous people was that their cultural beliefs and behaviors were inferior and deemed to extinction. This perception led to the development and implementation of a policy which resulted in the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their homes. These children were placed with individuals and institutions with the goal of teaching them to think and act white in order to “breed out” the Aboriginal race. The unthinkable trauma and loss experienced due to this forced separation from their mothers, families, and cultural heritage made these children vulnerable and they often were physically, emotionally and sexually abused. This has resulted in generations of Aborigines struggling to confront the consequences of trauma and loss for the stolen generation and their families. This paper uses a psychoanalytic approach to understand Australia’s race relations and focuses on several urban Aboriginal individuals and families who are struggling with the psychological and social consequences of intergenerational trauma.

Keywords: Australian Aborigine, Indigenous People, Stolen Generation, Genocide, Abuse, Intergenerational Trauma, Race Relations, Psychoanalysis

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp.149-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 814.007KB).

Dr. Janice A. Walters

Department of Social Science and Human Services, Borough of Manhattan Community College of The City University of New York, New York, USA

I am a full time tenured faculty and a licensed psychologist with a psychoanalytic orientation. My research interests include race in the analytic relationship; the impact of colonization on the individual and cultural identity of the Indigenous people of Australia; and the psychological, social and cultural consequences of intergenerational trauma.

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