Patterns and correlates of self-reported racial discrimination among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, 2008-09: Analysis of national survey data

Joan Cunningham, Yin Paradies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: There is now considerable evidence that racism is a pernicious and enduring social problem with a wide range of detrimental outcomes for individuals, communities and societies. Although indigenous people worldwide are subjected to high levels of racism, there is a paucity of population-based, quantitative data about the factors associated with their reporting of racial discrimination, about the settings in which such discrimination takes place, and about the frequency with which it is experienced. Such information is essential in efforts to reduce both exposure to racism among indigenous people and the harms associated with such exposure. Methods. Weighted data on self-reported racial discrimination from over 7,000 Indigenous Australian adults participating in the 2008-09 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, were analysed by socioeconomic, demographic and cultural factors. Results: More than one in four respondents (27%) reported experiencing racial discrimination in the past year. Racial discrimination was most commonly reported in public (41% of those reporting any racial discrimination), legal (40%) and work (30%) settings. Among those reporting any racial discrimination, about 40% experienced this discrimination most or all of the time (as opposed to a little or some of the time) in at least one setting. Reporting of racial discrimination peaked in the 35-44 year age group and then declined. Higher reporting of racial discrimination was associated with removal from family, low trust, unemployment, having a university degree, and indicators of cultural identity and participation. Lower reporting of racial discrimination was associated with home ownership, remote residence and having relatively few Indigenous friends. Conclusions: These data indicate that racial discrimination is commonly experienced across a wide variety of settings, with public, legal and work settings identified as particularly salient. The observed relationships, while not necessarily causal, help to build a detailed picture of self-reported racial discrimination experienced by Indigenous people in contemporary Australia, providing important evidence to inform anti-racism policy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number47
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal For Equity in Health
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • Aboriginal
    • Australia
    • Discrimination
    • Indigenous
    • Racism

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns and correlates of self-reported racial discrimination among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, 2008-09: Analysis of national survey data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this