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Has the representation of Aboriginal people in the West Australian changed over a 50 year period

Hill, Chace (2015) Has the representation of Aboriginal people in the West Australian changed over a 50 year period. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Studies have shown that media outlets such as TV, social media and newspapers portray African Americans with respect to crime and social issues when in comparison their White counterparts are generally portrayed with respect to politics. Further with respect to the United Kingdom Muslim people were portrayed more negatively post 9/11. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the representations of Aboriginal people in The West Australian newspaper from 1966 - 2015. The analysis will address three areas: First if The West Australian has represented Aboriginal people negatively. Second if these representations occurred as a result old-fashioned racism and third has the representations of Aboriginal people shifted, over time, to new racism. A qualitative thematic analysis was used to gather codes from within The West Australian. The results from the qualitative thematic analysis identified six major themes; separation within society, negative representation of Aboriginal people, representation of past and culture of Aboriginal people, negative representation of Aboriginal youths, Aboriginal peoples issues are their problem and government mistreatment and failure of Aboriginal people. The themes support previous research on both old-fashioned and new racism. What was different from previous research was that shift towards new racism in The West Australian was from 1980-1990 when, in comparison, the same shift in America happened in the 1960s. When related to Criminology three theories were used to explain Aboriginal over-representation within the Criminal Justice System. These three theories; Strain theory, Labelling theory and Differential Association theory, explain that social strains in conjunction with labelling and negative peer groups create and fuel anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Supervisor: Clare, Joseph
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