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Introduction: Holding the Discipline of Sociology to Account


Walter, M and Kukutai, T and Henry, R and Gonzales, AA, Introduction: Holding the Discipline of Sociology to Account, The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology, Oxford University Press, M Walter, T Kukutai, AA Gonzales, and R Henr (ed), United Kingdom ISBN 9780197528778 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 Oxford University Press

DOI: doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197528778.013.47


This chapter sets out the rationale for the Handbook. Included are explanations of the central premise of Indigenous lifeworlds, how this concept is sociologically applied across the separate chapters, and the Handbook’s organizing structure. The chapter also includes a critique of how Indigenous Peoples are seen, understood, and represented within the discipline, leading in turn to the identification of sociology’s irreconcilable flaw: a studied and deeply embedded blind spot to colonization and colonialism. This critique leads the editors to question the validity of what sociology offers in the study of societies. This question has direct relevance to Anglo-colonized nations - Australia, Canada, the United States, and Aotearoa New Zealand - but also has global salience. Over the last 500 years, most modern nation-states have been either the perpetrators (and beneficiaries) or sites of colonization (or both). Yet the omission from most national narratives of their past and continuing benefitting from the dispossession of Indigenous Peoples is reproduced within the discipline’s studied blindness to colonization as the genesis and ongoing foundation of the structure and function of society. Any discipline whose approach is based on a societal delusion, the authors argue, especially one where the justification for its very existence is the scientific observation and explanation of that same society, might not be worthy of the title.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:indigenous peoples, lifeworlds, colonization, colonialism, Indigenous lifeworlds, indigenous sociology, nation-states, first nations
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, society and community
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work and social justice
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture
Objective Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge
UTAS Author:Walter, M (Professor Maggie Walter)
ID Code:154190
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2022-11-08
Last Modified:2022-12-05

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