RACIAL TOLERANCE TOWARDS MINORITY GROUPS AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE: AN AUSTRALIAN STUDY
 
Trang, T., Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Witenberg, R., University of Melbourne, Australia
 
Racial tolerance has been under-researched and is largely unexplored from psychological perspective. The ultimate, practical objective of understanding tolerance is to reduce discrimination. No where is this more important than in diverse societies where differences exist in culture, colour and creed. Whilst there is a large body of research into the antecedents and the emergence of prejudice, we know very little about racial tolerance. Living in harmony may be better served by increasing our understanding about racial tolerance and acceptance as an alternative way of avoiding prejudice. This paper will discuss issues surrounding racial tolerance and report on the findings of a research project conducted to examine racial tolerance in Australia. Three hundred students, aged between 11-22 years, were asked to make judgments on stories about people from Indigenous and Asian backgrounds. The finding showed that both tolerant and intolerant judgements were made depending on whom and what the students were asked to make judgements. Discussion will then be made about the relevance of the study and the current debate on immigration, multiculturalism, and reconciliation with indigenous people around the world.