The relevance of ethnographic understanding to Aboriginal anti-grog initiatives

Authors

  • TIM ROWSE

    Corresponding author
    1. Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
      Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
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      Tim Rowse, Manzies School of Health Research, PO Box 8569, Alice Springs 0871, Australia.


Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Abstract

Aboriginal initiatives to “beat the grog” may or may not draw on ethnographies of Aboriginal drinking behaviour. The deeper reason for this uncertainty has to do with fundamental ideas of citizenship and (self) governance. What is the relevance of “culture” to individual responsibility? This paper reviews this question at three levels; the political debate about “rights” and “responsibility”, ethnographic depictions of Aborigines as both group-dominated and individualistic, and through one Aboriginal organization's embracing of the perspectives of Alcoholic's Anonymous.

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