Little theory, big plans : social capital and community building in Aboriginal Australia

Brough, Mark K. & Bond, Chelsea (2009) Little theory, big plans : social capital and community building in Aboriginal Australia. In Woolcock, Geoffery W. & Manderson, Lenore (Eds.) Social Capital and Social Justice: Critical Australian Perspectives. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin, Australia.

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The discourse surrounding recent Aboriginal social policy regularly refers to pragmatism and partnership. In a simpler world, we might call this ‘getting things done with Aboriginal people.’ To that extent, the discourse draws on an indisputable common sense, and it is not surprising that a variety of political agendas can be packaged within such language. While many things need to be done, the quantity and particularly the quality of social networks required to take effective policy into effective practice is something we ought to consider more carefully. This is where the concept of social capital could be useful, since it focuses attention on the social resources required to construct social policy, as well as the social resources that could be produced by effective social policy. Partnerships and pragmatism are therefore related at a most fundamental level in terms of social policy. We question whether this important conceptual bedrock has been fully explored. Hence we review here some recent ‘big plans’ for Aboriginal Australia, and ask whether the size of the theory matches the size of the plans.

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ID Code: 29279
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Social Capital, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Community Building, Social Justice
ISBN: 9781921576089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society (169902)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > Schools > Social Work & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 the authors.
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2009 02:00
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015 22:09

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