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By Thomas Sowell

Offers new insights into the historical past, sociology, and psychology of ethnic-minority lifestyles.

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The Productivity Commission Report is, again, a wonderful example of that way of thinking. On the other hand, we can think about society as an interaction between responsible, intentional agents, such as individual people, and organised collectives of people or organisations, including governments. Taylor says that the modern social imaginary—that is, our taken-for-granted ways of thinking about ‘society’—is ‘bifocal’; we use both mechanistic and agent-centred thinking. We imagine society in mechanistic terms—interactions between variables—and we imagine society humanistically—interactions between thinking, feeling agents who can be held responsible for what they do.

12 Assessing the evidence on Indigenous socioeconomic outcomes The impetus for this recommendation in 1991 came from two directions. On one hand, the Royal Commission itself experienced an acute shortage of information about Indigenous Australians in its deliberations. In particular, its conclusions about the underlying factors that precipitated higher Indigenous incarceration were mainly drawn from the 1986 Census (Gray & Tesfaghiorghis 1991). There was a strong view articulated by the Royal Commission that additional, and more timely, information about distinct and diverse social, demographic, health and economic characteristics of the Indigenous population was needed.

Indigenous engagement managers will take a leadership role with Indigenousenumeration in the census and relevant ABS surveys. They are also undertaking dissemination and training activities, such as returning information to communities and Indigenous organisations in their preferred format and in ways that support the use of statistics for their own purposes. The 2002 NATSISS The 2002 NATSISS was designed to provide information on the social circumstances of Indigenous people relevant to Indigenous stakeholders and policy researchers.

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