Everyone and everything is a boundary object – an empirical account from a modest human boundary object

LCJ 26 cover

Yasunori Hayashi

LCJ: Special Issue:

Collaborative knowledge work in northern Australia, 26, pp. 58-63
https://doi.org/10.18793/lcj2020.26.09

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Citation
Hayashi, Y. (2020). Everyone and everything is a boundary object – an empirical account from a modest human boundary object. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Collaborative knowledge work in northern Australia], 26, 58-63. https://doi.org/10.18793/lcj2020.26.09

 

Abstract

In this paper, I grapple with the application of a boundary object, in its position at the centre of a cross-cultural project in Indigenous northern Australia involving discrete knowledge communities—Yolŋu Indigenous landowners and hydrogeologists engaging in the hope of developing a community-led water management plan. Although I was officially assigned as a community engagement officer and a language translator, I found myself becoming a boundary object, comparable to a three-dimensional map of Aboriginal land. My positionality was considerably unsettling at times due to a culmination of disconcertments surfacing from my figure as a knower adopted into Yolŋu kinship system, as modest kin to the Yolŋu Aboriginal landscape of land and people. As a witness to the ways in which Yolŋu family live and care for their environment with the absence of centrality, I extend the notion of boundary object to the central understandings of Yolŋu kinship practice, where everyone and everything is a boundary object.

 

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