Two-Way Thinking by Hannah Rachel Bell – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper “ Two-Way Thinking by Hannah Rachel Bell”   is a worthy example of book review on sociology. In the book two-way thinking, Hannah Rachel Bell presents two ways of thinking which are characteristic of the aboriginal people of Australia and the westernized white people of Australia. The two ways of thinking are pattern thinking and triangle thinking. The pattern thinking, characteristic of the aboriginal is a philosophical view that sees everything interconnected and related to all other things (Bell1998, p. 127). This way of thinking holds a holistic view of the world where nothing exists independently but as an integral part of the universe.

Pattern thinking draws a relationship in the existence of everything in the universe where human beings are related to the animals and the trees and should, therefore, coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for each other. Pattern thinking draws a connection between and among everything that exists. This form of thinking advocates for mutual existence among all creations in the world and respect for all things in the universe (Bell 1998, p. 130). On the other hand, the triangle thinking is a kind of thinking that views everything in singularity. Triangle thinking views everything in the universe as an independent entity that has no connection to other things in the universe but only exists together.

This way of thinking holds the reductionist view which says that says that everything in the world can be reduced to its simplest independent forms or particles. Triangle thinking advocates for male dominance and the existence of power in an ascending manner (Bell 1998, p. 125). According to Bell’ s views, Triangle thinking advocates for the concentration of power where power rests with one individual, and the rest become subjective to the one individual.

The individual holding power gets the right and authority to own and control all other things (p. 125-126). Triangle thinking has greatly influenced the way the western world views the aboriginals’ social and economic organization. About the social organization, the western idea of the social organization of the aboriginal people is that of the unorganized type that has no traditional cohesion. According to triangle thinking, for the social organizations to be present in any society requires the society to have a form of leadership where there is a hierarchy of power.

The society should have a form of government in order to be called an organized society. There should be laws and regulations that govern the people and that there should be uniformity or homogeneity in the way society exists and carries out its activities. The western views the aboriginals as a crumbling people headed for extinction (Carter 1999, p. 120). Writing about the aboriginal society in 1988, Paul Hasluck, former Minister of Territories, says that the aboriginal society did not exhibit anything that could be seen as an integrated and homogenous society (Attwood 2005, p. 105).

He says that the aboriginal society comprised of crumbling groups scattered all over and living under a diminishing discipline. He calls describes the aboriginals as a people who lost the solidity of tradition and are only kept together by dilapidated values of kinships and by the virtue of living together in isolation on the periphery of the Australian society. Hasluck is of the view the aboriginals live together only because of the feeling of a sense of belonging they have towards one another, having been isolated from the rest of the Australian people.

He argues that none of the aboriginal groups exhibit any characteristics of a society. This makes it conclude that the aboriginal community should be assimilated in the rest of Australian society. Such views as the ones held by Hasluck are a result of the influence of triangle thinking which views the society as one that is supposed to have some hierarchy of power.


Bell, H. R. (1998). Men's business, women's business: the spiritual role of gender in the world's oldest culture. Rochester, Vt, Inner Traditions.

Attwood, B. (2005). Telling the truth about Aboriginal history. Crows Nest, Allen & Unwin.

Havecker, C., & Malykke, Y. (1987). Understanding Aboriginal culture. Sydney, NSW, Australia, Cosmos.

Edwards, W. H. (2004). An introduction to Aboriginal societies. Tuggerah, N.S.W., Social Science Press.

Selin, H. (2003). Nature across cultures: views of nature and the environment in non-Western cultures. Dordrecht, Kluwer Acad. Publ.

Carter, S. (1999). Aboriginal people and colonizers of Western Canada to 1900 XD-US. Toronto, Univ. of Toronto Press.

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