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Contemporary racism in Australia: the experiences of Aborigines
journal contributionposted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor
In recent decades, social psychologists have suggested that contemporary racism is more subtle in nature than it had been in previous times. However, such theorizing has been from the perspective of the perpetrators. The present study follows a small number of other studies that have focused on the perspective of the victims of racism. It investigated the experiences of racism reported by 34 Aboriginal Australians during semi-structured, open-ended interviews. The data suggest that racism is experienced commonly and frequently by the participants and that much of it is overt or old-fashioned rather than subtle and modern. It is argued that if the data are reflective of what happens in intergroup encounters, social scientists may have embraced the theories of modern racism too readily. This may have contributed to the maintenance of social institutions that impact negatively on the minority populations in the community.