When Does A Settler Become a Native? (Abstract 1)

Pal-Ahluwalia-040_for-webPal Ahluwalia attempts to analyze when a settler becomes a native through various theorists like Edward Said and Mahmood Mamdani. His theory expresses how aboriginal people identity “remains entrapped with certain white settlers notion of identity” (501). Ahluwalia is looking at how the settler (Australian) becomes a native to whichever land they habitat. In a sense, the settler becomes the hyphenated people because to coexists in two separate spaces. These spaces are between citizenship and identity. Identity formation is explored through the Australian settler morphing into a native. “The settler as a citizen and subject as native” is explored through space and identity (510). Identity is assigned to the settler by the space it possesses. It’s about how one gives an account of themselves when living amongst others. Native is not appropriate to aboriginal people “because of the exclusionary practices of the white settlers who stripped the rights of aboriginal peoples through the establishment of the category aboriginal native” (502). Ahluwalia says that “the citizen as an empty space in such conceptualisation entails that the ‘status of citizenship is contingent on an operative symbolic order that needs to be distinguished from any claims to cultural identity for the citizen” (510). How to define a citizen and a native are established by colonialism. However, it is hybridity which challenges colonial domination and “the transformation of the settler into a native cannot be legitimated through conquest but fundamentally must be based on consent” (511).

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One thought on “When Does A Settler Become a Native? (Abstract 1)

  1. This is a really great abstract! I struggle with writing abstracts from time to time because I tend to be so verbose. I feel that you have done a wonderful job getting your point across in a short amount of words! I agree with Ahluwalia’s analysis of when a settler becomes a native. It is interesting how his theory rides upon his belief that the identity of aboriginal peoples in entrapped with a white settler’s notion of identity. I like how you mention that how we can define both a citizen and native is dependent upon colonization, but ultimately, hybridity, a concept that I have learned so much more about this semester, challenges this. Great post!

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