The Difference Identity Makes



Through the struggles of Aboriginal people for recognition and self-determination it has become common sense to understand Australia as made up of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and things.

But in what ways is the Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal distinction being used and understood? In The Difference Identity Makes, 13 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal academics examine how this distinction structures the work of cultural production and how Aboriginal producers and their works are recognised and valued.

The editors introduce this innovative collection of essays with a path-finding argument that 'Indigenous cultural capital' now challenges all Australians to re-position themselves within a revised scale of values. Each chapter looks at one of 5 fields of Australian cultural production:

  • sport
  • television
  • heritage
  • visual arts and
  • music.

It reveals that in each the Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal distinction has effects that are specific.

This brings new depth and richness to our understanding of what 'Indigeneity' can mean in contemporary Australia. In demonstrating the variety of ways that 'the Indigenous' is made visible and valued the essays provide a powerful alternative to the 'deficit' theme that has continued to haunt the representation of Indigeneity.

Appeals to teachers and students in Aboriginal studies, cultural studies, media studies, history and anthropology.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, The Difference Identity Makes, <>, retrieved 24 July 2019

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