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Bystander antiracism on behalf of Muslim Australians: The role of ethnocentrism and conformity

McWhae, L.E., Paradies, Y. and Pedersen, A. (2015) Bystander antiracism on behalf of Muslim Australians: The role of ethnocentrism and conformity. The Australian Community Psychologist, 27 (1). pp. 6-20.

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Racism and discrimination against Muslim minorities is becoming increasingly prevalent in Australia and much of the Western world. The present study investigated whether ethnocentrism and conformity, which have long been associated with racism, are also significant correlates of willingness to engage in bystander antiracism on behalf of Muslim Australians. Participants were 154 non-Muslim Australians (50.6% female), aged between 18-85 years (M = 48 years). Participants were recruited from around Australia to complete an anonymous online survey via Qualtrics. Measures were a bystander question (regarding a hypothetical scenario), social conformity and ethnocentrism scales, and demographic information (age; education; gender; political preference). Correlations indicated that participants high in ethnocentrism and conformity and low in formal education were significantly less likely to take bystander action. However, a hierarchical regression equation revealed ethnocentrism to be the only significant predictor of bystander antiracism with 18% of the variance explained overall. Our study adds to the current literature by exploring, for the first time, the combined role of ethnocentrism and conformity in willingness to engage in bystander antiracism. This, we hope, can assist antiracism practitioners with their interventions; encouraging bystander action is one way of creating a more equitable Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: The Australian Psychological Society
Copyright: The Australian Psychological Society
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