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AIS2180 - Aborigines: Sport, Race and Gender

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Barry Judd


Clayton Summer semester A 2007 (Day)


A touchstone of Australian nationalism, sport has played an important role in determining the boundaries of nation by providing (re)presentational types of who Australians are or should be. Until recently images of Australian-ness to emerge in sports reflected the social and political aspiration of white Australia which formed around national identity around white masculinity. Despite this, Aboriginal people have both a long history of sporting participation and an outstanding record of sporting achievement. This unit considers the contribution of Aborigines to sport. Students will gain an appreciation of how ideas of race and gender have influenced Aboriginal participation in sport.


This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of Aborigines in Australian sport through a critical examination of sporting discourse and its impact on Aboriginal participation and sporting achievement. The unit will introduce students to the racialised and gendered representation of Aborigines in Australian sport and explore how notions of race and gender have been used to 'read' the success, failure or political stance of Aboriginal sports people. On successful completion of this unit students will be able to: Demonstrate, both orally and in writing an appreciation of the broad social, cultural and historical context in which Aborigines have participated in Australian sports. Demonstrate an understanding of the key discursive frameworks through which Australian sport represents Aboriginal sports people. Describe and critically assess the central themes and issues that have shaped Australian sports 'knowledge' understanding of Aboriginal people. Acknowledge and critically examine the power and privilege of 'whiteness' in Australian sporting discourse. Acknowledge and critically examine the power and privilege of 'masculinity' in Australian sporting discourse. Demonstrate the various study skills and techniques necessary to successfully complete this unit and other Indigenous Studies units. In addition, at third year level, students are expected to demonstrate more extensive research and sophisticated oral presentation, analytical and writing skills.


1 x seminar paper (1000 word) : 20%
1 x research essay (3000 word) : 70%
1 x oral presentation (500 word equivalent) : 10%

Contact hours

6 x 4 hour seminars for 6 weeks.