Race Relations in Classroom – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Race Relations in Classroom” is an outstanding variant of literature review on sociology. Following European settlement, Australia was predominantly Anglo-Saxon with most migrants exclusively originating from the British Isles. Although the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders people were Australia’ s original inhabitants, European settlers domineered and imposed their culture on these indigenous communities (Jupp, 2001, pp. 9-12). Over time, Australia has progressively become a multiracial and multicultural society (Fong, Chiang & Denton, 2013, p. 58). This transformation can be traced back to the mid-1990s which was marked by a steady rise of civil rights movements and immigration reforms.

As Australia’ s population continues to become more diversified, laws and policies have been instituted in a bid to discourage racial discrimination and other forms of marginalization (Jupp, 2001, pp. 9-21). To date, Australia is ranked amongst the least racist countries in the world (Gye, 2013). However, the 2005 Cronulla riots portrayed a different picture by showing that racial intolerance, prejudice, and hatred may still have roots in Australia. In December 2005, a large crowd consisting of “ White” Australian youths gathered at the Cronulla Beach in Sydney seeking revenge after several Lebanese youths physically attacked two Australian lifesavers.

In order to showcase their national solidarity, a majority of the White Australian youths carried the Australian flag whereas some wore T-shirts and carried banners with derogatory messages about the Lebanese. The crowd predominantly consisting of youths mainly of Anglo-Australian identity also chanted hateful messages asserting that Australia is their country, the Lebanese are just refugees thus they should go back to the country. As a result, violence ensued between white Australian youths and Lebanese youths. Unsuspecting bystanders of who looked like they were from the Middle East were also unceremoniously attacked by white Australian youths (Carrington, 2009, 132-133). Although several youths who instigated the riots were charged and important public figures, notable social institutions, and the government vehemently condemned the racial intolerance, hatred, and violence that marked the Cronulla riots, this incident suggests that racism could still be an existing problem in Australia (Lowe, 2012).

Given the fact that there are laws against racial discrimination and Australia is ranked amongst the least racist countries in the world, it is still a paradox why there are still numerous racialized events.

In another incident, a Korean student and her aunt were verbally abused on a Sydney bus. The abuser ranted that “ Koreans are disgusting. ” Several incidences of racial abuse taking place in public transport have also been reported (Waleed, 2013). Carrington (2009: 132) observes that a wide range of factors may fuel racial intolerance, some of these factors include; media radicalization, ethnic vilification, and political populism. The media particularly plays an important role in shaping public understanding and opinion regarding different races (Carrington, 2009: 132). Perhaps the notion of “ Whiteness” and “ Globalization” are valuable concepts that can help in understanding the reaction of some Australians to present-day ‘ racialized’ events in Australia.   In reference to Australian history, the subsequent sections of this essay will critically examine these concepts and explain how they relate to ‘ racialized’ events in Australia.   In addition, this essay will explore race relations within the Australian school systems particularly with regards to the curriculum and classroom practices.


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Calma, T. (2008). Achieving improved primary and secondary education outcomes for indigenous students. Sydney: AMP foundation, pp.

Carrington, K. (2009). Offending Youth: Sex, Crime, and Justice. Sydney: Federation Press, pp. 132-133.

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Fong, E. Chiang, L. N & Denton, N. (2013). Immigrant Adaptation in Multi-Ethnic Societies: Canada, Taiwan, and the United States. New York: Routledge, p. 58

Hickling-Hudson, A. & Ahlquist, R. (2003). “Contesting the curriculum in the schooling of indigenous children in Australia and the USA: from Eurocentrism to culturally powerful pedagogies”. Comparative Education Review 47(1), pp.64-89.

Jupp, J. (2001). The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People, and Their Origins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 9-21.

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Lowe, I. (2012). Bigger or Better: Australia’s Population Debate. Sydney: University of Queensland Press.

Marten, J. A (2002). Children and War. New York: NYU Press, p. 229.

Mosler, D. & Catley, R. (1998). America and Americans in Australia. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 43-45.

Northern Territory Department of Education (NTDE) (1999).Learning Lessons Report: An Independent Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory. Darwin: NTDE, pp. 125-131.

Reynolds H. (1998). ‘Missionaries and Protectors’, in H. Reynold (eds). This Whispering in Our Hearts. Crow Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, pp. 22-46.

Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCRGSP) (2007). Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2007 Overview. Canberra: Productivity Commission SCRGSP, 2007, pp. 4-15.

Waleed, A. (2013). State of Denial: Racist Abuse in Australia. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from

Wells, G. J. Shuey, R. & Kiely, R. (2001). Globalization. New York: Nova Publishers.

Wilson C.C. Gutierrez, F. & Chao, L. (2003). Racism, Sexism, and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America. New York: SAGE, pp. 88-109

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