Discuss How Race and Ethnicity Perpetuate Inequality in Australia

1162 words 5 pages
When groups of people see themselves, or are perceived by others, to be racially distinct from the rest of a population, the question that arises is whether members of these groups are treated equally.
Politicians have long spoken of being a multicultural society, promoting tolerance and integration. Proud of a society where one can reap in financial or social status rewards through sheer hard work – where the nature of one's race or ethnicity is not a factor. Bessant (2002) said racist attitudes are alive and well today. The concepts of ‘race' and ‘ethnicity' perpetuate inequality for people who are considered different from the dominant group. This essay will show how race and ethnicity are at a disadvantage to equally accessing
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Critical to this process was the widespread belief that Europeans were inherently superior to and deserved to rule over ‘their' colonies and the people they had acquired.

Indigenous people have been in Australia for more than 100,000 years, however it was only in the 1967 referendum that gave Indigenous people the right to vote, to be counted in the census and classified as people. "Despite popular images of Australia as a country in which everyone gets a ‘fair go', Australian history is full of both institutional and popular racism". (Van Krieken, 200).

Ethnic and Indigenous people are at a disadvantage with acquiring education. For a person to obtain education, one needs income. To receive income, one needs a job and to get a job one needs skills or qualification, which brings one back to the need to obtain education. An individual's chance of education is influenced by the socio-economic status of one's parents. It is a social inequality that is hard to break. Migrants who come from countries that have poor education systems, usually have to take lower paid, lower status jobs, as their qualifications are not normally recognised in Australia. Further education in Australia can be difficult due to the language barrier.

Migrants and ethnic groups are at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. They are faced with racism and discrimination in the hiring and firing of employment. Indigenous people have lower paid,

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