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Archaeology and the governance of material culture: a case study from south-eastern Australia

Smith, L. (2001) Archaeology and the governance of material culture: a case study from south-eastern Australia. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 34 (2). pp. 97-105. ISSN 0029-3652

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What are the consequences of using the discourse of archaeological knowledge in cultural heritage management (CHM)? In this article the inter-relationship of archaeological theory and practice, CHM and the politics of identity is analysed, using as a case study the history of archaeological and CHM practice in south-eastern Australia. A critical reading of Foucault's 'govemmentality' thesis illustrates how archaeological knowledge has come to play a role in the regulation and arbitration of Aboriginal cultural identity in south-eastern Australia. In effect, archaeological knowledge becomes mobilized by public policy-makers as a 'technology of government' and becomes implicated in the governance of cultural identity. Further consequences of this process are that material culture, as 'heritage', becomes a resource of power in the politics of identity and archaeological practice, and theory itself, becomes regulated, or 'governed', by its inclusion in CHM.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2009 12:13
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2009 12:13
Status: Published
Publisher: Scandinavian University Press
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7128

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