Making meaning from collective apologies : Australia's apology to its indigenous peoples

Philpot, Catherine, Balvin, Nikola, Mellor, David and Bretherton, Di 2013, Making meaning from collective apologies : Australia's apology to its indigenous peoples, Peace and conflict : journal of peace psychology, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 34-50, doi: 10.1037/a0031267.

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Title Making meaning from collective apologies : Australia's apology to its indigenous peoples
Author(s) Philpot, Catherine
Balvin, Nikola
Mellor, DavidORCID iD for Mellor, David
Bretherton, Di
Journal name Peace and conflict : journal of peace psychology
Volume number 19
Issue number 1
Start page 34
End page 50
Total pages 17
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, D. C.
Publication date 2013-02
ISSN 1078-1919
Keyword(s) intergroup apology
intergroup forgiveness
Summary This article considers the meaning of intergroup apologies for their recipients. Our research examined Indigenous people’s responses to the 2008 Australian apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples forcibly removed from their families under previous governments (the Stolen Generations). We interviewed Indigenous men (n=10) and women (n=22) about their attitudes toward the apology and forgiveness. To cover the breadth of Indigenous responses to the Australian apology, we sought out participants from diverse geographic, cultural, and occupational contexts across Australia. After pooling the transcripts and entering them into NVivo, we identified key concepts and themes. Participants expressed positive, negative, and mixed views toward the apology and forgiveness. A dominant theme emerged as participants indicated that for the apology to be truly meaningful, there needed to be action commensurate with the emotion of the apology. Though participants indicated that the apology promoted reconciliation, this was not true for forgiveness. We conclude by discussing implications of these findings for theoretical models of intergroup apology.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/a0031267
Indigenous content on
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 940102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Development and Welfare
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, American Psychological Association
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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Created: Tue, 19 Mar 2013, 10:59:11 EST by Jane Moschetti

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