Mobilising control and dissent: navigating the digital landscape in a remote Aboriginal community

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Information Communication and Society


A remote Aboriginal community has adopted the online digital landscape in today’s globalised culture and the free market. At the same time, their lives intertwine with a predominantly white Australian affluent neighbourhood on their traditional lands. The development of their traditional lands by a multinational mining company extends the complexity of their traditional lifestyle into a corporate world of trade, boom and economic crisis. This interaction between the affluent mining community of non-Aboriginal residents and the intersection of the digital world made up of smartphones, and social media has flow-on effects within the community. Aboriginal self-determination persists, supported by mobile and internet technology, and involved members from the higher echelons (traditional owners) to the social outliers. This study looks within the community and between the clans. In this ethnographic study, the authors attempt to discuss the effects of social media and mobile technologies that enable power and agency. Our findings bring to the fore a different perspective, inspired by Aboriginal peoples’ use of the digital landscape for collective reflexivity. For collective reflexivity to occur, all relationships, according to our generous study participants, are in a continuous cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction.

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