Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Justine Dandy

Abstract

Australia's policy of multiculturalism was adopted in 1978. However, recent events in Australia have suggested some public dissent concerning multiculturalism, particularly among members of the dominant Anglo-Australian culture. Previous research in the Netherlands has found that essentialist beliefs about ethnic minority groups are related to negative attitudes towards multiculturalism within the dominant culture. This study was designed to qualitatively explore Anglo-Australians' attitudes towards multiculturalism and their beliefs about ethnic minority groups. A total of 11 participants were interviewed. Results showed that the participants expressed both positive and negative attitudes towards multiculturalism, and essentialist and non-essentialist beliefs about ethnic groups. The relationship between essentialist beliefs and multiculturalism was found to be complex and not as direct as previous research had indicated.

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