Friday, 7 December 2018

Scanlon Foundation Survey finds that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority

The Guardian, 4 December 2018:

Australia has not lost faith in immigration. The political narrative has darkened but not the fundamental view of ourselves as an immigrant nation. Most of us remain convinced that we are in so many ways better off for newcomers of all races and creeds who have come in large numbers to our shores.

That is the verdict of the Scanlon Foundation’s 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion Report published on Tuesday. The mission of the foundation is to measure how this migrant nation hangs together. Over the last decade 48,000 of us have been polled to fathom the panics that sweep this country and the steady underlying views Australians have of immigration.

“Immigration is a growing concern,” says the author of the report Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University. “But for media commentators and some politicians it has become an obsession. They are in the business of creating heightened concern, of crisis. But what the survey shows is rather a picture of stability.”

Markus is one of Australia’s leading authorities on the politics of race. This is the 11th report he has written for the Scanlon Foundation. Year in year out his reports show about 80% of us believe immigrants are “generally good” for Australia’s economy and that ours is a better society for the “new ideas and cultures” that immigrants bring to this country. Support for multiculturalism in 2018 stands almost as high as ever at 85%.
 “A number of international surveys that look at Australia, America, Canada, a range of European countries from eastern Europe to western Europe, and also countries in other parts of the world, have a consistent finding that on attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity, Australia is within the top 10% of countries which are open to and welcoming of immigration,” says Markus…..


Each Mapping Social Cohesion national survey builds on the previous year and informs the Scanlon-Monash Index (SMI) of Social Cohesion. The surveys have been undertaken since 2007 where the original survey provided the benchmark against which the SMI is then measured.

These surveys provide, for the first time in Australian social research, a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion, immigration and population issues. A prime objective of the surveys is to further understanding of the social impact of Australia’s increasingly diverse immigration program.

While there are significant differences by mode of surveying in the level of strong positive response, as indicated by Figure 35, the balance of opinion remains in large measure consistent. Thus with strong positive and positive responses combined, agreement that multiculturalism has been good for Australia is at 85% RDD, 77% LinA. Agreement with discrimination based on race or ethnicity in immigration selection is at 15% RDD, 22% LinA. Larger variation by survey mode is obtained with reference to some questions on religion: negative attitude (strong negative and negative combined) to those of the Muslim faith is at 23% RDD, 39% LinA, agreement with discrimination in immigration selection on the basis of religion is at 18% RDD, 29% LinA…….

The Scanlon Foundation surveys are of relevance to a fourth dimension, attitudes within the community. All populations comprise people with diverse personalities and views ranging, for example, from the tolerant to the intolerant – from those who celebrate cultural diversity to those who are comfortable only with what they perceive to be Australian culture.

As discussed in this report, the Scanlon Foundation survey findings establish that in contemporary Australia racist values are held by a small minority – arguably most clearly indicated by ‘strong agreement’ with discrimination in immigrant selection policy based on race, ethnicity or religion. Across the two survey modes, ‘strong agreement’ with such discrimination is indicated by 7%-11% of the population. [my yellow highlighting]

No comments: