Currently, ethnic minorities face challenges in terms of discrimination, prejudice, condemnation, etc. In this paper, an attempt is made to portray how ethnicity and race have been used to promote negativity across the world. In Australia, in a broad sense defined, empirical evidence is lacking due to the racist attitudes, Cultural diversities, tolerance towards ethnic groups, ideology of nation, perception of cultural privileges, racial separatism and hierarchy belong to the sphere of investigation in frames of our study. The basis of the research tends to be of social essence. The evidence on this viewpoint lays in the racism association with age, education, gender, ethnicity, and cultural background. Therefore, racism is considered to be a problem in Australian society.
It is both a historic and a societal problem. Recently, the issue of racism in Australia has provoked heated debates according to the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party (Dunn & McDonald). By the twentieth century the surviving Aboriginals were controlled by particular Aboriginal legislation that restricted their lives. These parliamentarian acts were focused on protection the remaining Aboriginals from racism. Turning back to the nature of racism, it is obvious that the feeling superiority to others cored deeply in the human nature. Besides, it is proved that this kind of feeling is usually developed unconsciously, as every ethnos from its historical emergence develops its distinct culture, customs, and traditions and the representatives believe their own to be the best. Thus, the concept of ethnocentrism has been created. However, the natural prejudice does not mean the existence of racism. It “occurs where two groups see themselves as being physically and racially (as opposed to just culturally) different and when one group claims the alleged inferiority of the other group is caused by the innate physical differences of its members” (Broome 91).
Inequality influences the core of our existence in terms of creating the picture of the world concerning the evaluation of the concept ‘other’, the vision of ourselves from the perspective of others, and the way both are related to each other. Our study comprises approaches that deal mainly with sociological issues and the evidence for the existence of racial discrimination through the prism of both empirical researches and self-experience of the Aboriginals that have been involved in the investigation process. These issues are regarded to be the primary for both the study of social inequality and its historical patterns.
Contemporary, racism in Australia is viewed by a number of researchers as connected to historical aspect of national identity in Australia and the decision of who belongs and who does not belong to the societal ‘upper class’. “Asian-Australians, Muslims, and Indigenous people have long been identified as ‘Others’ to the Australian national imaginary” (Dunn & McDonald). The minority groups mentioned above are intensively researched, that is why we decided to focus our attention on the indigenous Australians and the violation of their rights. Thus, racism occurs around the stereotypical patterns emerging in the consciousness of the representatives of different from Aboriginals’ race, in our case in the self-proclaimed Australians who are of white origin. According to Greig, Lewins & White “These stereotypes surround complaints about supposed welfare dependency, drunkenness, and failure to ‘assimilate” (2) .
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Social and historical approaches to the study are undoubtedly interconnected with such markers as age, gender, education, health care services, and economic and political status of the deprived groups. For instance, most of the older people, who are considered to belong to ethnic minorities, tend to be without basic education and are more prone to be discriminated; or the employers prefer to have only people of white origin in their firms, which happens in the case of CV scrutiny having judged by names. There are a plenty of other cases that prove injustice in terms of attitude towards Aboriginals.
The image of Australia as a multicultural ‘tolerant’ society does not always tend to be relevant. Thus, though Australia is a multicultural core for its population, the problem of racism and discrimination remains unsolved.
General Outline of the Research
For years, one of the most disputable aspects of researching in the field of racial discrimination has dealt with the case of ethnical minorities. The novelty of this research is revealed with the help of investigations in terms of the indigenous people in Australia. Injustice occurs in the situations of social, economic, and political importance in which people of white origin have certain privileges in comparison with the representatives of ethnic minority. The disparities concerning racial discrimination have defined the major aim of our research, i.e. analyzing the difficulties the ethnic or race minorities in Australia face in accessing social, economic or political opportunities.
The topic of the research is racial discrimination with its exemplification on the indigenous Australians. The subject of the study is presented through the phenomenon of ethnic disparities; namely, with the help of the instance of the Aboriginals. The object of the study is the statistical observations concerning the violation of the minority’s rights in comparison with the white Australians, which predetermine the current disputable situation of the ethnic or race discrimination among indigenous people of Australia. Thus, the sphere of this investigation includes the analysis of statistical data, structured questionnaires, and racial profiles of people of white and black origin from the angle of discrimination study.
The research problem is identical to the establishment of the set of problems that minority groups face. Besides, several efforts have been made to resolve the problems that ethnic or race minorities encounter. Ethnic or race minorities have thus had to encounter various concerns which have bordered on economic, social and political issues. Nevertheless, research as depicted in the literature review shows that ethnic or race minorities encounter difficulties while going about their daily activities. From the preceding subtitles, it is evident that the study is examining the question of ethnic or race minorities with its exemplification on the indigenous people in Australia and the problems that they face.
Racism and discrimination may be measured fairly differently. Social researchers accomplish this task with the help of surveys aimed to measure the degree of racism in a certain society. “When analyzing social attitudes, the problem stems from unobservable biases in the reporting of racial attitudes” (Booth, Leigh, & Varganova). From the economic perspective, the common approach compares labor market outcomes within ethnic groups. However, this method sometimes provides us with an inaccurate result. In terms of methodology, our research is regarded to be analyzed from the perspective of the quantity and quality. Quantitative methods will comprise the statistical data with figures which describe the disproportionation in terms of racial discrimination. Therefore, it is obvious to distinguish the statistical method with its quantitative nature. Qualitative methods will deal with the distinct analysis of the gathered data, namely with the racial profiles in order to compare the rights of both people of white and black origin.
This research aims to employ a longitudinal design to examine the problems that ethnical minorities face in accessing economic, social and political opportunities. The proposed time span is six months. The data sources for the research are secondary data on government and private extension of opportunities to the public. The study will deal with the collected data from ten provinces in Australia. The provinces are expected to give a valuable pool of respondents for the proposed study. Using primary data from various respondents, who are believed to be the victims, would equally play a significant part in the study. In collecting the data, a structured questionnaire is to be used. The questionnaires will be delivered directly to the respondents by research enumerators. The questionnaires will cover two aspects on the study subject, the attitude and the demographic parts. Under the latter, such details as gender, age, marital status, literacy level, etc are covered. In the other parts, questions on discrimination based on race or ethnic minority would be posed.
In general, the notion of racial discrimination has been quite extensively researched in the sphere of ethnic minorities. However, the preliminary research of the existing scope of literature concerning the issue of racial discrimination has revealed a distinct lack of systematized data due to the motifs and reasons of harsh actions. Thus, to this research will try to ascertain this ambiguous issue. There is a significant amount of sources that are taking into account the aspects of racial discrimination phenomenon proper, though leaving behind the explanation of the causes which predetermine the racial disparities concerning the Aboriginals in comparison with the white Australians. Besides, there is no clear distinction between the main minority groups in Australia. Most scholars differentiate between Asian-Australians, Muslims, and Indigenous people, thus not naming the others that have immigrated to the possible second ‘melting pot’.
Although, this research focuses on studying the phenomenon of ethnic discrimination within indigenous people of Australia, we are going to summarize and organize the existing ethnic minorities groups according to the rates readability and further research the rights discrimination of the Aboriginals as the major group. Literature review, statistical data, and deep analysis of the examined questionnaires and profiles of the Aboriginals and the white Australians determine and support the major aim of research.
Originally, the concept of racism has its roots of emergence and reasons why Australians belong to the word field of race, racial, racism, and racist. Thus, according to the definition of the Angus & Robertson Dictionary and Thesaurus, race is regarded to be “a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics, such as hair type, color of skin, stature etc.”; racial is the derivative from race concept and denotes “relating to the division of the human species on the grounds of physical characteristics”; racism proves to stand for “abusive or aggressive behavior towards members of another race on the basis of such a belief”; and racist determines “a person's attitude to others who are not like themselves” (Van Den Berg 34). Therefore, race is the core element in researching the varieties among people.
From sociological perspective, according to the Horton and Hunt’s definitions, race manifests a social reality, as people are eager to assume one’s racial identity. Thus, the concept of race is socially constructed that proves the parallels drawn with discrimination and prejudice to be relevant. According to these outstanding sociologists, racism is based on the forming opinions about individuals or groups of people due to the existing stereotypes being not competent in the specific peculiarities of each and every individual (Van Den Berg).
The investigations made by Pauline Hanson are interconnected with the essence of current research. The goal similarities lay in the category of research that is represented by the Aboriginals in Australia. The researcher’s work deals with the analyzing attitudes about Aboriginal settlement as the ethnic group or “race of indigenous Australians” (Van Den Berg 35). Morris researched in the sphere of social issues as well. Thus, the societal predispositions are based on the stereotypical behavioral patterns towards the people of other races and cultures comparing to the person who condemns. This stereotypical reaction remains the problem in the frames of researching the current situation with indigenous Australians.
In the second half of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, the Aboriginals in Australia were considered to become “a dying race” (Reynolds 121). However, the reason lies in societal dispositions of humans who put their own superiority over the representatives or other cultures. Here is the core of forming the problems in terms of racism. Therefore, the Australian Aboriginal settlement suffers from “the effects of living under a racist regime, ever since the British settled this country” (Van Den Berg 37).
Racism and ethnicity has also been used to deny Aboriginals’ equity in access to various services. Statistically, health status of indigenous people of Australia has been affected by the living conditions of an individual (Rispel et al.). From the historical perspective, living conditions have varied in the frames of continuous time span. Moreover, income is an important determinant of social life that affects its various aspects; namely, educational compound and working conditions.
Despite social challenges, the ethnic minority meets economic difficulties herald prematurity in life. Struggling families are unable to allow children, adolescents and young adults to experience proper growth and development. At these stages of development, especially the first two, mortality levels and social disorder respectively undermine the advancement (Willis, Reynolds & Keleher). Based on these problems, the victims succumb to premature deaths. Living conditions due to income differentials play an important role in the emergence of the deprivation conditions which lead to high levels of stress, an aspect that compounds the healthcare problem. Worse still, the victims adopt unacceptable behaviors in responding to the prevailing circumstances. The adoption of such behaviors as the consumption of illicit drugs does not portend well for the health of the victims (Rispel et al.).
Obviously, people living in poor conditions are at a higher risk of experiencing high incidences of illnesses, domestic violence, accidental injuries, poor school scores, child abuse, etc. The differences in access to healthcare facilities among people of white and black origin are attributable to various factors. Thus, social determinants such as education, power, occupation, ethnicity, income, and gender play a leading role in the emergence and the perpetuation of the inequities in Australia. The indigenous people in Australia are the ones that suffer most from the health inequities. For instance, this community has a reduced life span of between seventeen and nineteen years in comparison to the broader community. Additionally, the Aboriginals present higher death rates and bigger risks of being affected by various illnesses, as “cardiovascular disease, accidents and injuries, respiratory diseases and diabetes” (Public Health Association of Australia inc. 1).
Health state is dependent on the socioeconomic aspect. Generally, the representatives of lower socioeconomic groups live shorter life spans possessing much poorer health. Statistics shows that Aboriginals have “have higher rates of death and disease, are more likely to be hospitalized and are less likely to use specialist and preventative health services” (Public Health Association of Australia inc. 1). Undoubtedly, the higher an individual’s socioeconomic status, the more chances he/she has to be healthy. Poverty is regarded to be the main reason of poor health state. By this, the minority groups are meant to be deprived from societal participation in economic, social, cultural, political sense (Public Health Association of Australia inc.).
Since 1990s, the concept of racism has been investigated by cultural studies scholars. Recently, social psychologists have shown their interest toward this topic. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence about essence of racism in Australia is lacking. Thus, to some extent, this research deals with social constructivism. Jackson and Penrose have used this approach in their investigations working with the categories of cultural identity and notion of racism (Dunn & McDonald).
Significance of the Study. Limitations and Delimitations
From the historical perspective, ethnical minorities and the discriminatory occasions provoked by the dominant majority have been the main topic for the discussions and researches in the field of racial or ethnic disparities for many years. Despite, the preliminary research has been carried out in the sphere of racial discrimination; the significance of this study is predetermined to be the investigations with its exemplification on the indigenous people in Australia. Besides, this research is to employ a longitudinal design to examine the problems that ethnical minorities face in accessing economic, social and political opportunities. The study also comprises the quantitative and qualitative methods of research. In addition, it deals with the statistical data analyzing racial profiles and the examined questionnaires.
One of the limitations of the study is the fact that the number of respondents both comprising the Aboriginals and the white Australians may be deemed insufficient for making the general conclusion of the issue in the entire country. Human factor should not be excluded as well. It means that the answers to some of the questions concerning the issue may have been either exaggerated or underestimated. The interviewed may have hidden the truth due to some subjective factors. Another limitation of the study is the general atmosphere of unwillingness among the indigenous people of Australia to participate in the survey concerning the topic of discrimination. A huge percentage of the Aboriginals requested to fill in the questionnaires either refuse to communicate with us on this topic or rejected the very fact of being discriminated by the white Australians. Such attitude may be described by the historical process on the territory of Australia.
One of the delimitation of the research is that due to the broad scope of the intended for the investigation of spheres of human life, the findings may be viewed as quite generalized ones. Moreover, another instance of delimitation is the lack of access to the recent statistical data gathered in particular domain of human activities like health care and political representations of the studied ethnic groups in various social institutions, which may have slightly affected the overall results.
Results and Discussion
The results of the data will be presented using descriptive statistics. Tables, pie charts, graphs and percentages will be used to show the results. The results of the data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics. The choice of statistics is based on the ease to display the research findings. An analytical approach will be the dominant approach in discussing the results.
The constructed analysis of the main spheres of human activity bearing on racist attitudes which are discussed above was carried out through the chi-square analysis of appropriate tables. The analysis based on social construction comprising all the socio-economic and attitudinal responses is a sample of applying the analysis of principal components.
Respondents were asked whether they were knowledgeable about the existence of ethnic groups that did not belong to Australian society, and if so, to name up to three of such. 45% of respondents have identified ethnic groups they believed did not fit for Australia. Frequently mentioned groups are Muslims, who comprise twenty-eight per cent, and those from the Middle East, that is twenty-eight per cent as well.
As the study focuses on the Aboriginals, another questionnaires were carried out, this time the ethnic group was specified. Thus, the markers of gender, age, marital status, literacy level, etc were covered. Cross-tabulations and Chi-square testing are the acknowledgement of a strong positive association between age groups and the level of intolerance of Aborigines. Mainly, older persons show harsher intolerance, reflecting different official treatment of cultural diversity during their lifetimes, and reinforcing the importance of progressive educational anti-racism initiatives and inclusive government rhetoric. Among gender groups, there are significantly more showings of intolerance among males than females towards Aboriginals. In a nutshell, only 8.5 per cent of respondents disagreed that there was racial prejudice in Australia. 83 per cent agreed that there was. Therefore, the conclusion may be drawn from the recognition of this societal problem.
Despite official denial of acknowledgement the existence of race discrimination in Australia, the majority of the population recognizes the problem. Inequality in Australia is regarded to be the result of human long-term conviction that a new approach to better comprehending of social inequality was necessary.
In conclusion, a lesson of history has been training the whole humanity to alter the existing stereotypical patterns that concern ethnical minorities. Obviously, the theme is considered to be topical and there are a lot of questions left to further investigations.
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