Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Health Engineering and Science

First Advisor

Dr Eyal Gringart

Abstract

The population of all Western countries are ageing and humanitarian efforts saw increasing numbers of people from Middle Eastern origin settle in Australia. Whilst older people are encouraged to remain in paid employment longer, it is not clear whether Middle Eastern people and the older population are as readily hired as are Anglo Australians and the younger population. Pairs of fictitious, unsolicited job applications were used to test for age and racial discrimination of Middle Eastern people in the Western Australian labour market. The study employed a 2 x 2 between subjects design with race (Anglo Australian and Middle Eastern) and age (32 and 57) as the independent variables. The dependent variable was the number of responses received by each type of applicant. It was hypothesized that Anglo Australian job applicants would receive more responses than would Middle Eastern job applicants. It was also hypothesized that younger job applicants would receive more responses than would older job applicants. 500 companies were randomly selected for receipt of paired CVs and 165 applicants were responded to. Analyses using Chi-square and Binomial tests of proportions revealed ethnic discrimination in employment recruitment. The results revealed biased treatment against Middle Eastern applicants, the majority of whom were not extended the courtesy of responses that were received by their Anglo Australian counterparts. It was also found that the racial marker of being Middle Eastern was more salient than the traditional age marker. The current study demonstrates how correspondence testing can be used to reveal actual treatment of applicants from minority groups when there is no relevant vacancy available. Evidence from the current study suggest that much is yet to be done to address negative stereotypes held about people of Middle Eastern origins and to encourage the promotion of cultural awareness in reducing their marginalised status and hence contribute to the social cohesion of the multicultural society in Australia.

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