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White Men are Liars: another look at Aboriginal-Western Interactions

$19.00

Day by day Aboriginals and Westerners attempt to communicate with each other, but the results are very uneven. Communication ranges from good to poor. Difficulties occur most often in cross-cultural dealings that involve traditional Aboriginals, that is, people for whom an indigenous language as their first language and who may well live on a remote community. In such places contact with Westerners is relatively limited and despite real efforts to understand each other, problems in mutual understanding still occur. This book considers that difficulty and uncovers an underlying factor through which many problems can be explained. The primary finding of the present enquiry is that for cultural reasons, Aboriginals and Westerners use significantly different abstractions: (a) Aboriginal abstractions always retain a direct link with reality; abstractions used by Westerners often break the link with the real. (b) The two resultant systems are shown by a study of language, worldview, and social relationships. (c) The metaphor ‘gears’ is used as a term covering a procedure through which, the author suggests, the two systems can operate successfully side-by-side. This book was previous titled "White Men are Liars".In his Forward, Fred Chaney states: "[This book] is a sobering but educational read for all of us involved in trying to work with Aboriginal people for whom English is not their first language, to improve their material circumstances and reduce social disadvantage. … It is to be hoped that the book will be read by many people including those who are involved in policy formation and delivery as well as the many new individuals coming into the field of working with Indigenous people. Most will bring good hearts and good intentions to their attempts to formulate and to implement policy. Bain’s book reminded me yet again that few of us bring sufficient humility to the task of understanding those with whom we are dealing. … If we could communicate accurately we are more likely to get beyond good intentions and to achieve the changes Indigenous people want for themselves and their communities".

Item 4873: WHITE MEN ARE LIARS by MARGARET S BAIN (also previously known as ADAPTING TO DIFFERENCE By MARGARET S. BAIN)

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