Deconstruction in literature has been considered as the theory of criticism that creates questions for traditional assumption regarding identity, culture, certainty and truth. In deconstruction literature questions are focused instead of answers. It is required to inquire the situation from which the questions were developed (Vo 2013). The purpose of the assignment is to prepare deconstruction literature regarding the health culture and safety of indigenous people in order to understand the philosophical position and underpinning responses regarding the health issues of aboriginals. The chosen topic for the assignment is why are Aboriginal people prone to alcohol and substance abuse? In this regards the following paper will provide terminology, assumptions, ‘question the question’ and brief discussion about the question
A deconstruction essay focuses entirely on segmentalising each and every word or terms that has been used in the question and deconstructing the meaning behind the same all the while refraining to answer the actual question being asked (Vo 2013). For this deconstruction essay, the question asked is “Why are Aboriginal people prone to alcohol and substance abuse?”, and there are various terms associated with this question indicating at certain assumptions and stereotypes which is going to be explored and evaluated here. The first notable term used in here is “aboriginals”, which is a broad umbrella term that signifies a wide community living in Australia. The aboriginals are described as the first people of Australia, the natives that have been living in the Australia close to 40000 years before the colonization period began in Australia (Nikro 2014). The second notable term that is present in the selected question is “alcohol” or the abuse of it. Now it has to be mentioned that alcohol is a generic term that denotes the psychoactive substance that is the preliminary active ingredient in beer, wine and hard liquor that causes the effect of intoxication in the consumer. The next term is also associated with abuse is “substance” which signifies drugs which is also a psychoactive substance that can be inhaled, smoked, injected, consumed or absorbed via a patch causes a temporary sense of intoxication (Alterman 2014). Now the most important fact that needs to be discussed here is the term abuse and whether the use of this term has been justified. Abuse can be defined as a malicious act that is committed with the intention of harming or a negative intent. However, the aboriginals have been through a prolonged history of trauma and torture which can be a fact that contributed to the habit of addiction. Based on this assumption, the term abuse seems misfit and stereotypical, which could have been replaced by addiction.
Assumptions or concepts:
The aboriginal people have been consistently linked with poor quality of life as indicated by different social determinants of health. The health outcomes of the individuals of the community are of poor standards in comparison to the non-aboriginal counterparts. Mortality and varied morbidities have been rising at an epidemic rate in the Aboriginal communities which are known to be perpetuated in a vicious cycle of poor living conditions. A lack of justice and health facilities is reported to have an associated with the poor health outcomes of the individuals at different stages. The health conditions that are related to substance abuse are brain cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal problems, liver damage and respiratory problems. In addition, the other adverse health impacts include kidney damage, impairment in the immune system and frequent chances of infection (Conway et al. 2017). As per the health data published by the Australian Government Department of Health, aboriginal population has more chances of dying at a lesser age as compared to the non-indigenous counterpart. Around one-in-eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported to have cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure in the 2012-2013. Kidney disease is a key health concern among the aboriginal population and in 2010-2014 end-of-stage renal disease was seven times more in aboriginal population. Respiratory disease was suffered by around one-third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the 2012-2013 (healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au 2017). Based on such data it can be assumed that aboriginal population demonstrates incidents of alcohol and substance abuse.
In societies where there is increased domestic violence and rapes, it can be assumed that there is high rate of alcohol and substance abuse. There has also been a theme emerging from literature that men who resort to alcohol or drug abuse are more likely to engage in criminal activities and domestic violence with the excuse of culture or traditional lore. Children and women are repeatedly attacked under the influence of drug or alcohol that has an adverse impact on cultural, emotional and social wellbeing of the victims (Easton, Crane and Mandel 2018). A mounting pool of evidence point out that domestic violence on women and children is on the constant rise. As per the evidence provided by Australia’s national research organization for women safety, aboriginal people are five times more likely to suffer violence as offenders or victims. Moreover, aboriginal women are five times more likely to be victims of homicide and 35 times more likely to be hospitalized due to violence related assaults (anrows.org.au 2018). Such facts indicate that the aboriginal population might be prone to alcohol and substance abuse since there is a direct link with violence. It is to be assumed that substance and alcohol abuse are the key factors contributing to poor quality of life of the aboriginal population as reflected by poor health outcomes and high rate of violence in the society.
Questioning the question:
The aboriginal people has the history of post-colonial trauma. During the time of colonization the aboriginals have faced huge number of challenges, such as economic challenge, health challenge and social challenge. They have been driven out from their own land forcefully. The aboriginal children were removed from their parents. Consequence of unemployment, lack of education, resources and other services have been faced by them. Such situation affect their mental health and most of the aboriginals have been found to suffer from post-colonial trauma (Nikro 2014). It is assumed that in order to get relief from such trauma the aboriginals may get addicted to substances such as tobacco, drug and alcohol. On the other hand, may be they are unable to understand the harmful effects of substance abuse due to lack of education and health literacy, thus induced in the substance abuse (Lambert et al. 2014). In addition it is also assumed that, the consequence of social deprivation such as lack of access to health resources and services, lack of beneficial policies and discrimination with non-indigenous have led to the event of substance abuse (Ross, Oliver and Villeneuve 2013). These are the assumptions that have contributed to the development of the question and further research is required in order to identify the actual factors that have crowned the question.
This question, although addressing an alarming social issue of the present times, yet focuses on the age old discrimination and stereotyping that the society has been providing anything that is out of ordinary. Aboriginals represents a wide community who are basically the rightful owner of the Australian lands. They represent a tremendously ethnically diverse community with principles and life traditions which the traditional heritage of ancient civilizations alive. They live a decent, collectivist, respectful and spiritual existence, and they live by ideals that can be incorporated in the westernized living as well (Fforde et al., 2013). However, the colonization brought forth decades of loss, pain and torture for these peace-loving minimalistic communities that destroyed their lives and most importantly had a deleterious impact on their psyche. Although, the indigenous advancement strategy of Australia has brought forth certain improvements in their living standards, the stereotypes and discrimination is still alive. The denotation of these people as aboriginal rather than the being called the first people of Australia is indicative of that age old discrimination (Skinner et al., 2013). The assumptions such as impact of trauma or lack of education, or lack of healthy livings habits in these people have founded various theories on how or why they are prone to addiction. These factors undoubtedly can be contributing factors in certain cases, but these assumptions reflect only at one side of a much wider situation. Hence, these is need for further exploration on their life stories and living conditions to discover whether or not these assumptions fit into the real picture or there are other unexplored contributing factors as well.
On a concluding note, the first people of Australia have been subjected to discrimination for a long period of time and even when there are efforts being taken to improve the living condition and health status, they are still being subjected to unintended discrimination by stereotyping their identity by terms like aboriginal and abuse. This essay deconstructed the underlying grey areas prevalent in the treatment the first people still receive in the society, either deliberately or unintendedly. Hence, there is need for exploring the wider situation, keeping aside the known assumptions and stereotypes, to discover the issues faced by this community.
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