National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Dr Mir Rabiul Islam
Lecturer, School of Sciences and Liberal Studies, Charles Sturt University, NSW

Mirna Jah Jah
Student, Charles Sturt University, NSW

Young Australians, Emotions, Stereotypes, and Attitudes Towards Aborigines, Asians and Arabs

Racism in Australia, at least partly, needs to be understood through the psychological research if effective mechanisms for its reduction are to be implemented. In a study comprising 139 Anglo-Saxon volunteer university students (79 female, 60 male) with age ranging between 18 & 29, measures of racial stereotypes, positive and negative affects, perceived threat, and perceived relative deprivation related to minority groups were used to predict attitudes toward Australian Aborigines, Asians and Arabs. The findings highlighted the facts that attitudes were significantly positive towards Aborigines comparing to Asians and Arabs, but Asian stereotypes were noticeably affirmative. Overall, the findings indicated the importance of emotional stakes as crucial components of racial attitudes in Australia. Racial attitude change programs, which have traditionally been based on simply changing knowledge structures, facts etc. through education, should also take into account the structural role of affective features (e.g., empathy, frustration etc.) of racial attitudes in Australia.

Dr Islam is a lecturer at Charles Sturt University. His PhD research examining the social psychological dimensions of Hindu-Muslim antagonism in Indian subcontinent was carried at the University of Bristol. His current research interest is racism in Australian society. He is involved with research highlighting the issues related to social identification and political preference for One Nation; symbolic and blatant racism in Australia; and young Australians, attitudes and perception of multiculturalism.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops