Strategies to address anxiety about race relations

Feb 23, 2011

The results of 12 years of research by the 'Challenging Racism Project' were released today, providing a national picture of racism, ethnic relations and cultural diversity in Australia.

Surveying more than 12,500 people from all States and Territories across Australia, the national results of the Challenging Racism Project revealed that:

* 86.8 percent of respondents across Australia agree that it is a good thing for a society to be made up of people from different cultures;
* 84.4 percent believe all races are equal; and
* 78.1 percent feel secure with people of different ethnic origins.

The Project also found that 12.3 percent of respondents admit to being prejudiced against other cultures; and 11.2 percent believe that it is not a good idea for people of different races to marry one another.

Lead researcher, Professor Kevin Dunn from the University of Western Sydney's School of Social Sciences, says the findings indicate that the majority of Australians are positive about living in a multicultural country and that community relations in Australia are generally good.

"However, there are clearly a significant number of Australians that still have a level of anxiety or discomfort about cultural difference, which makes the case for a nation-wide commitment to challenging racism that much stronger," says Professor Dunn.

The Challenging Racism data also revealed that the frequency of racism varies substantially from place to place.

"Each region of the country has its own strengths and challenges, as well as its own capacity to address those challenges. In fact, the differences between regions are to such a degree that to compare them would be like comparing apples to oranges," says Professor Dunn.

Rather than attempting to make direct comparisons between suburbs or places, the research team focused on the more constructive goal of addressing the nature of racism and developing anti-racism strategies that can be implemented at the local level.

"Governments, community groups and individuals can visit the Challenging website to look up the regional profile of their area and find out which anti-racism strategies are most appropriate to them," says Professor Dunn.

Explore further: Philosopher uses game theory to understand how words, actions acquire meaning

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ignoring racism makes distress worse, study finds

Apr 06, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Subtle forms of racism are part of the fabric of life, according to Professor of Counseling Alvin Alvarez, but the way people choose to cope with racist incidents can influence how much distress ...

Motivation to end racism relies on 'yes we can' approach

Nov 29, 2010

If you're trying to end racism, it's not enough to get people to understand that racism is still a problem. You also have to make them feel like they can do something about it, according to a new study published in Psychological Sc ...

Study reveals surprisingly high tolerance for racism

Jan 08, 2009

White people do not get as upset when confronted with racial prejudice as they think they will, a study by researchers at Yale University, York University, and the University of British Columbia suggests. This indifference ...

Recommended for you

Extra time in math class has its minuses, scholar says

Jul 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Eric Taylor, a PhD student at Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis, found that students who spent more of the school day in math class had higher math scores, but the gains ...

User comments : 0