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On Self and Licensed Solitude: 'That very private fella, me'


Sansom, B, On Self and Licensed Solitude: 'That very private fella, me', Oceania, 79, (1) pp. 65-84. ISSN 0029-8077 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney

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DOI: doi:10.1002/j.1834-4461.2009.tb00051.x


This essay is written to show that a liminal, in-between space of withdrawal and dilly-dally disassociation can harbour a special station of the self. Further, I propose that incumbency of this station is, from time to time, essential. Life lived always and only in group-dependant association would be insupportable. My case is made with reference to Aborigines of northern Australia who say that they 'run' together in mobs. Nonetheless, I see mis essay as a culturally specific contribution to a general category for investigation - the sociology of licensed solitude. As it happens, my illustrative case has licensed solitude functioning sometimes and additionally as retreat or hermitage - that station of withdrawal into which a person enters when turning away from fellow-humans to seek inspiration from a Power. I compare the licensed solitude of the Aboriginal Countrymen with that of the academic who requires solitude as a station for that free interplay of primary and secondary imagination which sometimes may produce the anthropological sublime.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:self, silence, solitude, privacy
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Anthropology
Research Field:Social and cultural anthropology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Sansom, B (Professor Basil Sansom)
ID Code:59832
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Riawunna
Deposited On:2009-12-21
Last Modified:2012-12-13
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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