There is a dearth of empirical evidence on the extent of racist attitudes, broadly defined, in Australia. A telephone survey of 5056 residents in Queensland and NSW examined attitudes to cultural difference, perceptions of the extent of racism, tolerance of specific groups, ideology of nation, perceptions of Anglo-Celtic cultural privilege, and belief in racialism, racial separatism and racial hierarchy. The research was conducted within a social constructivist understanding of racisms. Racist attitudes are positively associated with age, non-tertiary education, and to a slightly lesser extent with those who do not speak a language other than English, the Australia-born, and with males. Anti-Muslim sentiment is very strong, but there is also a persistence of some intolerance against Asian, Indigenous and Jewish Australians. Those who believe in racial hierarchy and separatism (old racisms) are a minority and are largely the same people who self-identify as being prejudiced. The ‘new racisms’ of cultural intolerance, denial of Anglo-privilege and narrow constructions of nation have a much stronger hold. Nonetheless, sociobiologically related understandings of race and nation remain linked to these new racisms. Narrow understandings of what constitutes a nation (and a community) are in tension with equally widely held liberal dispositions towards cultural diversity and dynamism. Encouragingly, most respondents recognise racism as a problem in Australian society and this is a solid basis for anti-racism initiatives.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis