Title

Ideology in public policy: an examination of aggressive paternalism and enculturation in indigenous assistance programs

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Thompson, LJ & Hil, R 2007, 'Ideology in public policy: an examination of aggressive paternalism and enculturation in indigenous assistance programs', International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 421-429.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Although Australian Government officially rejected a paternal assimilation strategyaspublic policy in the late 1960s, its policy increasingly encourages Indigenous people toadopt 'mainstream' values and objectives. This paper examines contemporary Australian policy directions for their desire to promote conformity. By exploring recent policy responses to Indigenous affairs it considers the resistance that ideologically-imposed objectives foment in subject populations. The paper highlights the weakness of coercive approachesto public policy. The discussion concludes that imposed problem definitions and solutionswill not satisfy the needs that liberal traditions uphold as the social agenda of westerndemocratic Government. More importantly, they fail to address the needs and aspirations of Australia's Indigenous people in any meaningful way.