NURS1006 Assignment 1
D econstructing our questions.
This assignment is designed to enhance student criticality through examining common
questions about Indigenous Australia. All of the questions contain factors that impact on
understanding Indigenous health and a Culturally safe approach . Quite often when we ask a
question we reveal something of ourselves in the way we have asked it. We may have made
certain assumptions, or used language that was problematic, or shown a lack of understanding.
In order to be Culturally Safe nurses you will need to learn to co mmunicate in a Culturally Safe
In this Assignment you are required to examine a question rather than attempt to answer it.
You are to deconstruct or ‘unpack ’ the wording of the question to determine its hidden
meanings . Please read the ‘Deconstruction Example ’ below.
This is a critical writing exercise where you are asked to articulate :
• the assumptions being made in the question,
• the stereotypes being employed in the framing /wording of the question.
• how the question exhibits a lack of understanding.
Utilise the readings from the first three weeks to support your discussion. There will be
activities in your tutorials to assist you with this assignment. Please read the following example
carefully. It is in dot points and you would not need to pursue so many in your assignment,
however , this list shows what might be understood from a question without answering it.
M any quest ions people ask about Indigenous Australia reveal more about the person asking
than the intended s ubject of enquiry. For example:
“ If we come from Adam and Eve then where do black people come from?’
• Who is ‘we’? Is this framing indicative of an ‘us and them’ position of ‘inclusion – exclusion’?
• Is the (conscious or unconscious) worldview here related to a Christian -based socialisation
process which sees Christianity as ‘normal’ and everything else as peripheral?
• This appears to be an ‘othering’ question. Who frames ‘the other’? What assumptions are
• Can a case be made that this is a Eurocentric, ethnocentric, exclusionist position that
perpetuates colonial notions of a ‘God – given dominion’.
• ‘… black people’ – Does this indicate a dismissal of diversity? Is there an assumed homogenous
explanation for the origins of ‘the other’?
• Cou ld this question be classified as one that could only be framed by someone who is an
unwitting beneficiary of a dominant hegemony (power/control/authority).
• Is ‘structured white privilege’ inherent in such a question?
• Does this question reveal a lack of understanding as to how Christian stories arrived on these
shores: “Your left hand holds a Bible while your right hand holds a gun” (Kev Carmody -‘Thou
Shalt Not Steal’) ?
• What does this question reveal about the persistence of the ‘christianising’/’civilising’ project
that gave invasion and colonisation ‘moral’ reinforcement?
Choose one of the following questions to deconstruct;
1. Why are Aboriginal people prone to alcohol and substance abuse?
2. Why do Aboriginal people always have a criminal record?
3. Why do Aboriginal people get given everything?