Mapping Social Cohesion 2009 Report

The Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion 2009 – the second in a longitudinal series – revealed that Australians’ attitudes to immigration have defied historic trends by remaining positive during the recent economic downturn.

It included a national survey of 2000 people aged 18 years and over, and six local surveys in six local government areas in Melbourne and Sydney.  Four were in areas of high immigrant concentration (Greater Dandenong and Hume in Melbourne and Fairfield and Bankstown in Sydney) and two in areas of high Australian-born population (Sunbury in Melbourne and Engadine in Sydney).

The report (refer to Reports of the Scanlon Foundation Surveys, Monash University ) provides a fascinating national snapshot of Australia’s attitudes to immigration and social cohesion, including:

Despite the positive findings, the report also found Australia still has challenges in the area of discrimination, safety and security in areas where immigrant numbers are high.

The research showed that:

The report found the lack of sense of safety was more attributable to living in areas with a low socio-economic profile, and often “ethnic groups become the scapegoats for socio-economic difficulties experienced by local residents.”

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