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Title: Starved of Power: The cultural politics of nutrition and the dietary colonisation of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory of Australia
Contributor(s): Adam, Megan Renae (author); Connelly, Jan (supervisor); Hardy, Joy  (supervisor); Plummer, David (supervisor); McConaghy, Cathryn E  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2009
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Abstract: This research is an exploration of contemporary postcolonial nutrition in remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. It is an interpretive inquiry that seeks firstly to understand nutrition in an historical, political and cultural framework and secondly, to examine the relationship between culture, knowledge and power in order to offer an alternative view that will be effective in informing novel solutions to reducing nutritional inequalities. The premise of the research is that in order to ensure improved nutrition for Aboriginal people in the future, there needs to be an increased focus on the ethical issues of human rights and social justice and the practical issues of intervention and policy implementation. The research focuses on the impact that the dominant culture has had on food and nutrition rather than seeing food and nutrition as the outcome of Aboriginal factors. It explores aspects of the dominant culture which contribute to creating and perpetuating marginalisation. The research demonstrates that nutrition and nutrition education are subject to privileging, colonial control and power. Taking colonialism and postcolonialism as the theoretical perspective, I claim that the largest contributing factor toward the past and present poor nutritional status of Aboriginal people is the historical legacy of the colonial experience and the consequences of ongoing postcolonial policies. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was ideally positioned as an analytical framework to investigate the narratives of 28 research participants and the sites of difference about which they spoke. The research illustrates that the situation is unlikely to improve without politicisation of nutrition issues and it seeks to encourage nutritionists, dietitians and other health professionals to advocate for policies, institutions and power structures to be reconstructed within a realistic social justice framework.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research (FoR): 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
Rights Statement: Copyright 2009 - Megan Renae Adam
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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