Aboriginal Professionals: Work, Class, Culture

26 November 2012

This paper considers the growth of Aboriginal professionals. While the predominant focus in Australian scholarship remains contexts of Aboriginal disadvantage, there is a steadily increasing number of Indigenous professionals in Australia among whom many reside in urban locales. The paper suggests that research involving Aboriginal professionals is needed to contribute to understanding occupational aspirations and social mobility as envisaged among Aboriginal people, in addition to providing a more complete picture of Aboriginal engagements with work. The paper also provides some initial reflection on recent public discussions among Indigenous people concerning notions of an emerging Aboriginal ‘middle class’. The variety of perspectives in relation to this idea and their implications within narratives of Aboriginal identity highlight the importance of research that seeks to theorise the place of culture in individual and intergenerational social mobility.