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The main focus of the research paper
The research paper by David Mellor on “Contemporary Racism in Australia: The Experiences of Aborigines” mainly focuses on underlying racism in Australia. Precisely, the paper gives the results of a study aimed at investigating the range of racism reported by aboriginal Australians, (Mellor, 2010, p. 474). Aborigines (or the indigenous Australians as they are usually called) are the original inhabitants of the continent of Australia. They are among the minority groups in Australia and comprise of around 2.5 of the Australian population (Berg, 2002, p. 56). According to the researcher, there is significant level of prejudice towards Aborigines imbued in White Australians. The researcher believes that this is perpetuated by a political perception and social psychologists’ view that contemporary racism is more subtle in nature than it had been in previous times. Thus, the researcher focuses on investigating the experiences of racism reported by 34 indigenous Australians during semi-structured interview. The findings of the study indicated that racism is experienced commonly and frequently by the respondents.
The methodology adopted
During collection of data for the current study, Mellor adopted the semi-structured interview technique, (Mellor, 2010, p. 475). This method of data collection is used to collect qualitative data since it allows a respondent time and scope to give their opinions regarding a particular subject (Alston & Bowles, 2003, p. 116). Thus, it helps in understanding a respondent’s point of view, rather than making general conclusions about behavior. This technique uses open-ended questions, some of which are suggested by the researcher while others arise naturally during the interview. As such, people are able to talk about a given subject in detail and in depth. In addition, the interviewer is able to create positive rapport with the interviewee (Marlow, 2010, p. 164).
Reasons for the choice of qualitative semi-structured interview technique
The semi-structured interview method was the most efficient for the interviewer since the primary data for the study was derived from narratives, (Mellor, 2010, p. 475). This method was the most efficient due to its simplicity, efficiency and it provided a practical way of assessing and obtaining data about feelings and emotions of the respondents in regard to the topic of study. Further, this method gave an opportunity for the respondents to describe their experiences of what they felt constituted racism, to quantify their statements and to give elaboration to their statements as Mellor suggested. As such, the method allowed the participants to speak freely about racism issues and thus, did not constrain their responses through the need to answer or ask predetermined questions. Finally, through this method, it was easier for the interviewer to record interviews through audio tapes.
The conclusion drawn by the researcher
In the conclusion, the researcher supports the findings of his study and opposes political perceptions and some social psychologists’ view that racism in Australia is largely subtle in the present times in Australia, (Mellor, 2010, p. 487). Rather, the researcher argues that much of the racism experienced is overt and old fashioned. He argues that perpetration of such behavior is politically incorrect and against current social norms. The researcher argues that there is need for social psychologists to learn a different perspective of racism from that of a dominant group, other than categorizing it as blatant or subtle. This will help in gaining awareness of the range of racism that those individuals from indigenous groups experience. In the view of the researcher, psychologists should re-examine the extent to which their work and training facilitates racism experienced by indigenous individuals in Australia. Therefore, the researcher suggests that social psychologists to focus their studies in the victims and incorporate the knowledge.............
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