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Where are 'Wogs' from? Exploring subjective understandings of racism

By Zuleyka Zevallos

Abstract

This paper examines subjective understandings of racism expressed by fifty second generation migrant-Australian women. Twenty-five participants came from Turkish backgrounds and 25 participants came from Latin American backgrounds. The paper focuses on three examples of everyday social interaction and considers how these examples might be connected with racist practices. The three examples include the question 'where are you from?', the 'wog' identity, and the women's ideas about racism in Australian society. The women believed that racism was a product of minority of individuals who did not adhere to Australia's multicultural spirit. This paper argues that the taken-for-granted assumptions informing the women's everyday social interaction are better understood in terms of 'everyday-racism' rather than as 'individual racism'. The women's subjective understanding of racism at an individual level prevented them from recognising racism as a social problem that might exist within Australian society

Topics: Australian society, Identity, Racism
Publisher: The Australian Sociological Association
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:vtl.cc.swin.edu.au:swin:3487
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