Family Is Crucial To A Strong Sense Of Identity Essay

Submitted By swaggerlord
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‘Family is crucial to a strong sense of Identity’ Elizabeth Jones
One may define identity as the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group. Identity may be distinguished from identification; identity is a label, whereas identification refers to the classifying act itself. Identity is thus best construed, as being both relational and contextual, while the act of identification is best viewed as inherently processual. One may define identity as the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group. Identity may be distinguished from identification; identity is a label, whereas identification refers to the classifying act itself. Identity is thus best construed, as being both relational and contextual, while the act of identification is best viewed as inherently processual.
Aboriginal children who were “half-caste” would be removed from their families and placed in mission or welfare homes, ostensibly to provide them with a better standard of living and an education and in the Novel/Play called ‘Stolen’ by Jane Harrison there is a character called Jimmy and he was separated from his mother at a very young age, and she spent her entire life looking for him. He spent a lot of time in prison, and on the day he finally got out, he was told about his mother’s search. As he went to meet her, she died, and he committed suicide in anger. Jimmy thought his mother was dead because every time she writes him a letter the nuns take it and put it in the cabinet.
One of the recurring themes in ‘Stolen’ is the concept of ‘home’. Each character speaks about their home and their desire to be back in their home. Following are some extracts from the play relating to the theme of ‘home’. “Sandy: Been everywhere, except one place. Home.” “Ruby: Don’t need no home of me own. Got enough to do.” The home that the characters have been sent is not THEIR home; it belongs to someone else. There is also a strong sense of irony attached to the word home, particularly when talking about the children’s home to which they have been sent.
In Australia hundreds of Aboriginal children were taken from their families and ‘country’ and raised away from their roots becoming what is now referred to as the Stolen Generation. What kind of an impact has this had on the identity of Aboriginal individuals, and on the Aboriginal culture as a whole?

A member of the Stolen Generation adopted into a non-Indigenous family at 13 months in the 1960s says of his process: “I went through an identity crisis. And our identity is where we come from and who we are....My wife and I are trying to break this cycle, trying our hardest to break this cycle of shattered families. We're going to make sure that we stick together and bring our children up so they know who they are, what they are and where they came from.” (Confidential evidence 696, BTH Report 1995, Part 3 Sec 10)

Others were the product of an inter-racial union, often imposed on the Aboriginal mother by white settlers. A member of the Stolen Generation with an Aboriginal mother…