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Brain gain to brain waste : individual biases, prejudice, and discounting of migrant skills

By Doha Shinnaoui and Renu Narchal


The present study replicated Esses et al. (2006) study on the role of prejudice in discounting of immigrant skills in the Australian context. It examined the effects of subtle prejudice on discounting of migrants’ foreign acquired credentials. Eighty-one students at an Australian university participated in the study. Design incorporated three experimental conditions, manipulating location, and birth of prospective job applicants. The independent variables were modern prejudice score, place of birth, and location of training (Australia, UK, and Lebanon). Participants rated resumes of hypothetical applicants on the dependent variables (person-job and person-organization fit). Results partially supported the hypotheses, with the Lebanese applicant rated significantly less favorable than both the UK and the Australian applicant. Findings imply that foreign skills and credentials were used as an ostensibly legitimate basis for the discounting of the visible minority applicant supporting the theory of aversive racism. Results also provide evidence for suitability of the justification–suppression model as a framework for comprehending contemporary issues in Western society such discounting migrant skills

Topics: immigrants, education, employment, prejudice, racism, , -
Publisher: Netherlands, Springer Netherlands
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s12134-010-0151-7
OAI identifier: oai:nuws:uws_11803
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