The topic of asylum seekers in Australia is one that has seen serious debate. In particular, negative attitudes towards asylum seekers are widespread and have fast become an issue both nationally and internationally.
BBC perfectly summed up why Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is so controversial. We know for a fact that both leading political parties in Australia support tough asylum policies. While it doesn’t show that they’re ‘anti’ asylum seeker, it begs the question; Who is the most ‘anti-asylum seeker’ Australian.
The School of Psychology at the Australian Catholic University (ACU), have done a meta-analytic review of negative attitudes towards asylum seekers.
The literature surrounding negative attitudes towards asylum seeks is quite substantial and as a result, many reports disagree on their findings.
ACU’s School of Psychology uses a statistical approach to the topic, to combine results from multiple sources. In doing so, it resolves uncertainty when reports disagree.
In their study, academics at ACU present a review on negative attitudes towards asylum seekers “to systematically explore which demographic factors and ideological variables predict these attitudes”.
Studies found that prejudice towards asylum seekers is largely driven by ideologies rather than demographic characteristics. However, demographic characteristics are still heavy influencers.
So who is the most ‘anti-asylum seeker’ Australian?
The answer way or may not come as a shock.
It was determined that males with less education, who are more politically conservative and have higher national identification are linked with more negative attitudes towards asylum seekers. The study found that ideological variables like holding right-wing authoritarian views and believing in a social hierarchy, were the strongest predictors of anti-asylum seeker sentiment.
Although researchers have now concluded (and published) their recent study they have found that significant amounts of diversity in content suggest that further research is required in order to explore interactions between the variables.