• shame;
  • race;
  • social closure;
  • emotion

ABSTRACT Attention to the debilitating feelings of unease, discomfort and anxiety which are the concomitants of everyday encounters and negotiations of Kooris at the mainstream interface brings an appreciation for the lived experience of the colonised minority and throws into relief complex struggles over meaning, manners, personal values, social allegiance and cultural survival. This paper focuses on the habituation and strategic deployment of shame at the racial divide. Koori subjectivities, bodily dispositions and emotional registers are found to be informed both by traditional orientations and by the hegemonic ends of the dominant order.