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Racism in Australia - Essay Example

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Racism in Australia is caused by multiple causes including immigration and cultural diversity, language and ethnic differences. Culture includes institutions, manners, habits of thought, intentions and ways of life. It encompasses the complex web of meanings which underlie everyday life and behavior-the understandings and expectations which guide our actions and interactions with others…
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Racism in Australia
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Racism in Australia

Prejudices include bias and negative attitudes towards other culture or a cultural group based on negative stereotypes and different value systems. In Australia, racism and prejudices are caused by different racial origin and geographical location. Country of birth is significant because it quite often coincides with some or all of the factors mentioned but this clearly need not be the case. People may be born outside a country or a nation-state yet still identify with it; boundaries and borders change (Almaguer, 1994). The world history of migration and the general movement of peoples have made any simple approach to culture and to ethnic identification not possible or viable. Individuals identify multiple ancestries, as evidenced by responses to the 'ancestry' question included in the 1986 national census; the 'cultural background' of many people is diverse. To take one example, there are people in Australia who were born in Eastern Europe, emigrated with their families to Central America when they were children, and then emigrated to Australia as adults with children of their own (Banks, 1996). Underlying many of these pressure points is the conflict which arises for families from collectivist-oriented cultures when confronted with the individualism which predominates in Australia (Pattel-Gray 1995). Achieving security and prosperity may be the only fundamental Chinese family value that has not been weakened in Australia, because western societies also value achievement. Language plays a crucial part in the ethnic identity of many communities, although its importance in this regard seems to vary across cultures In Diaspora, such as the Chinese, it has served to unite people from very different countries. Maintaining the first language and the learning of English have key roles in settlement, family experience and acculturation of immigrant groups. There is also a lack of tolerance or understanding for 'unusual' family arrangements which had arisen through the disruption of the lives of many Eastern European immigrants and for the many men who remained single. The focus for a sense of belonging may be on common physical characteristics, the possession of a distinct language or dialect, a particular religion, a sense of geographical and historical continuity through living in a particular place, or a distinct lifestyle (Donald and Rattansii 1992).
Discrimination is a direct result of prejudices and cultural differences take place in Australian society. In spite of great changes in social structure, Aboriginal people are discriminated in education, healthcare and employment (Pattel-Gray 1995). Complete cultural assimilation did not take place. However, the predominance of Anglo-Celtic values, in all Australian institutions but particularly in the workplace and the schools, often placed great pressures on immigrant families, created conflict between family members and sometimes threatened positive identification with their own cultures. The failure of cultural assimilation, the threat to Australian living standards with the onset of the recession and world economic restructuring, and social segmentation linked to gender, ethnicity and race led to a new national approach to diversity and to the development of policies ... Read More
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