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Social Exclusion of the Aboriginal Population of Australia

Another issue which commonly affects the Aboriginal population, inhibiting the experience of good health, is culture clash which consistently lead to social exclusion and societal assimilation. Urquhart (2009) identifies social exclusion as the fourth of ten social determinants of health and is often a result of culture clash. It is very important to recognise that culture clash is a cultural issue which gives rise to certain discrepancies that highly influence Aboriginal health. These discrepancies are complex and interspersed factors such as ethnocentrism, segregation and oppression, which all result in the social exclusion and societal assimilation of Aboriginals. Ethnocentrism is described as the tendency to view one’s own culture as superior to all other cultures (Cooper, 2012). Crisp and Taylor (2008) endow that “All people are inclined towards ethnocentrism” and this was reiterated by the Storti (2012) who stated that “Not only is judging natural, it is essential to function effectively in society”. Although, whilst it is a common issue, ethnocentrism becomes a problem when it is exhibited by people whom hold a position of power and who also have the ability to overrule those with lesser power (Crisp & Taylor, 2008). Ethnocentrism is an important factor because it has the potential to develop into such social exclusions as segregation and oppression, especially when it is exhibited by people who hold such positions of power as community or Government leaders. Such was the case when the Aboriginal population began to raise at the beginning of the 20th century (Crisp & Taylor, 2008). The Government powers, influenced by ethnocentrism, developed the policy of segregation which ultimately impacted on many facets of Aborigina... ... middle of paper ... ... Debuyst, O., Macrae, A., (2010). Review of Indigenous male health. , 10(4), 1-20. Retrieved from http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/male_review Urquhart, B., (2009). Summary of selected social indicators. Retrieved on March 27, 2014 from http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/determinants/social- issues/reviews/selected-social-indicators VicHealth (2011). Aboriginal health in Victoria - Research summary. Retrieved April 13, 2014 from http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/Publications/Health- Inequalities/Aboriginal-health-in-Victoria---research-summary.aspx Webb, S., (2009). Palaeopathology of Aboriginal Australians: health and disease across a hunter-gatherer continent. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press World Health Organisation. (2013). Social determinants of health. Retrieved April 13, 2014 from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/

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