Broome's economy: Renaturalising neoliberalism?

Stephen Muecke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines Aboriginal labour and intergenerational change in a 'frontier' town where colonisation is proceeding through the imposition of the economic institutions of 'the Moderns'. Before turning to Latour, it starts with a sketch of what labour conditions were like for people in Daniel's great-grandfather's generation, that of Paddy Roe. Broome Aboriginal people dispose of a set of stories, or rather a genre that distinguishes them from non-locals. The chapter discusses the study of Broome makes visible the possibility that there is a community of 'locals' relatively indifferent to Economy, because they have another, more 'traditional' economy to which to turn. Such communities might be somewhat immune to a narrative that tries to carry the imperative 'it is only a matter of time' before Broome is 'developed'. Economic activity based on country where people live has to recognise its earthboundedness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Sustainability in Rural Communities
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Australian Country Towns
EditorsCatherine Driscoll, Kate Darian-Smith, David Nichols
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315575384
ISBN (Print)9781472468642
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • feudalism
  • neoliberalism
  • Aboriginal labour
  • intergenerational change
  • colonisation
  • Paddy Roe
  • Broome
  • Australia


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