Missionary, Mercenary, Misfit?

Boundary Work and the Policy Research Process
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


Where we position ourselves affects our social, emotional well-being and either places us within the taken for granted or beyond the cultivated boundaries and in the wilderness. All the layers of identity as female, blonde, Australian South African with social justice leanings led to my constructing and being constructed in particular ways. From my perspective it appeared that in a predominantly patriarchal ‘Territorian’ society (where a hot dry country requires tough responses, mateship and a cold beer after ‘footie’ 1), it seemed that playing the game was what was required. This is, to quote a local, essentially a company town of professionals and business people who make a living out of service delivery and research. To differ from the norm appeared to excite interest and suspicion, fueled by the interlinked dynamics of a small town. ‘Keep a low profile, play a close hand’ was the essence of the advice given, ‘because if you are associated too closely with that group you will be ostracized by the other group’.


Indigenous People Environmental Justice Trojan Horse Life Chance Indigenous Healer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders Institute of Public Policy and ManagementFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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