"They're tough, these women!" : the everyday resistance of Aboriginal women to dehumanization by government agencies
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By way of a series of narrative oral histories, focus group and interviews with Aboriginal Elders, this thesis examines the everyday resistance of Aboriginal women to dehumanization by government agencies. The dehumanization of these Aboriginal women occurs when they are denied their basis human rights guaranteed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dehumanization is manifest as the denial of basic subsistence needs, poor treatment in the form of abuse, harassment and discrimination, and the denial of self-determination. Dehumanization is met with resistance in an attempt to restore humanity. Everyday forms of resistance are small acts of daily personal resistance which do not usually challenge the prevailing social order. They are based upon a complex subaltern ideology expressed in private transcripts which are usually hidden from the dominant group. Aboriginal women use the private transcripts as the ideological basis for at least three forms of everyday resistance: direct, indirect and hidden. With direct resistance the private transcript emerges, with indirect resistance a third-party mediates the emergence of partial private transcript and with hidden resistance the private transcript remains hidden. Aboriginal woman also base their resistance on a reciprocal relationship of empowerment between themselves and their communities which becomes more powerful as they age. The increase in the quality of the reciprocal community–individual empowerment leads to evolution in the quality of everyday resistance strategies, from relatively inefficient emotion-based reactions to more efficient and well-developed strategies.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeWilson, Alexandria; St. Denis, Verna; Macdougall, Brenda
Aboriginal women resistance