Cultural Relations and Aboriginal Identity in Sally Morgan’s My Place
Over the last half-century or so we have seen a development of cultural concepts. The normal definition of culture concerned the traditions, customs, and ways of thinking of a group or nation, also expressed in material things or artefacts. With trade, colonisation, growing globalisation, and migration, what had become unified national cultures are increasingly leaving room for all kinds of mixtures. The development seems to have progressed via clashes of culture or misunderstandings and what they could lead to – as we can see in the works of Conrad and Achebe, to mention only two out of many writers on colonial civilisation in relation to indigenous culture – then moving on to interculturality in the sense of attempts at understanding one another, especially the Other’s expression and behaviour/way of expressing themselves. The next step seems to be a greater openness to the variety of other cultures or multiculturality, developing further so as to arrive at forms of cultural transfer, a transcendence of cultural barriers, exchange and blending of cultures, hybridisation or what is here called transculturality.1 The question is then: On whose conditions does the blending of cultures develop and in what way does this apply to the Australian situation?
The problem with the various “culturality” terms is that certain values have been attached to them. If we look at Wolfgang Welsch, a strong advocate of transculturality as the only solution in the future to a variety of cultural problems, it is his concept of cultures as national...
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