Aboriginal deaths in custody - history of colonization in Australia, Australian society, statistics, western society. Includes extensive bibliography - A- mark

Essay by bzzzbeeCollege, Undergraduate May 2002

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In critically evaluate the claim that the high rate of Aboriginal deaths in custody can be explained as a statistical phenomenon rather than a cultural one, an Australia wide generalization must be made. It is also important to compare the rate Aboriginal deaths in custody against the rates of the rest of the Australian population. The history of colonization in Australia provides vital information about how society acts and how the indigenous group is perceived. Australia's history was one of harsh treatment and racial prejudice towards the Aboriginal people. The western society held the power, which led to the oppression and outcasting of the native race. Over the past two hundred years, the Aboriginal community has suffered from genocide, inequality, severe racism as well as cultural loss. Each of the events that took place in history has led to deaths in custody, which can be explained as a cultural phenomenon, rather than simply a statistical one.

The Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody provides horrific statistical data in relation to death rates and causes. The reason for the high death rates can be related to cultural biases in prison and unfair, racist treatment within society. These reasons have many serious implications on the lives of the Aboriginal society. The Royal Commission and ATSIC are currently developing strategies in order to resolve these issues.

The colonization of Australia in 1788, brought about many images and racial discrepancies of aboriginal people in Australia. Bourke et al (1998) suggest that the aboriginal people have been treated in severe ways since 1788. The early British settlers saw the aboriginal culture as wrong and their western culture as the 'ideal' culture or way of life. The Modernization theory of global inequality demonstrates this belief. On arrival in Australia, the British migrants were immediately empowered, who...