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Prejudice against Australian Aborigines: Old-fashioned and modern forms

Pedersen, A. and Walker, I. (1997) Prejudice against Australian Aborigines: Old-fashioned and modern forms. European Journal of Psychology, 27 (5). pp. 561-587.

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Prejudice is a pervasive and destructive social problem. Theories of prejudice distinguish between old-fashioned and modern forms. The former is an open rejection of minority group members; the latter is subtle and covert, with a veneer of outgroup acceptance. The present study examines the distinction in the context of contemporary attitudes to Australian Aborigines. Separate measures of each, and of other variables, were included in a random survey of the Perth metropolitan area in 1994. The two forms of prejudice were correlated (r=0.55), but factor analysis revealed that the two constructs are separable. Further, they were distributed differently in the population, with modern prejudice being more prevalent than old-fashioned prejudice (57.9 per cent scoring above the midpoint on the modern scale, and only 21.2 per cent on the old-fashioned scale). Modern prejudice was predicted more strongly by social psychological variables (R2=0.51) than was old-fashioned prejudice (R2=0.30), and the pattern of results from regression analyses differed for the two types of prejudice. Overall, the results confirm the distinction between old-fashioned and modern forms of prejudice, but indicate that the two are conceptually and empirically related to one another. Comparisons with earlier research reveal the declining prevalence of old-fashioned prejudice, but indicate prejudice is still a major social problem.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: Wiley
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