Dimensions of Racism

Preliminary Notes

This is the Reflective Journal 2 for Assessment 2.   This Journal relates to Weeks 4 through to 9, exploring some of the central characteristics of Indigenous Australian cultures, the history of colonization, the social, economic and psychological effects and your reflections in relation to learning about Indigenous and Australian history.  There is a particular focus on exploring concepts and dimensions of Racism, Power and Privilege.

There are a series of questions designed to consider and comprehend the course content, including Lectures, Tutorials and Required Readings, and to reflect upon feelings and understandingof the materials and concepts.  Most of the questions should only require a brief paragraph answer and some questions more specifically request a word count however, please feel free to respond as you require.  The questions include predominantly more general statements asking for analysis and interpretation, based on the literature and content.  The sections require accurate comprehension of course concepts, readings and tutorial activities, which is critical for this Reflective Journal and your overall learning from the course.

We will be expecting you to demonstrate that you have read and understood the material presented and that your writing and responses indicate reflective thinking with regard to the course content and consideration of your learning.  That is, we want you to demonstrate that you have engaged in the material in a scholarly and critical manner.

Referencing is an assessed componentof this Journal.  Please ensure that in instances where it is appropriate to reference, that you use the Harvard referencing style consistently throughout the journal.


You should begin by copying this proforma journal as a Word file on to your own computer. DO NOT submit a PDF document.

 When you have completed the journal you will submit this online. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to edit and check your ‘TURN-IT-IN’ status before final submission.

REFLECTIVE JOURNAL 2 Critical Analysis

Weeks 5 &6 – Historical Overview: Colonisation& Stolen

Week 7  –Dimensions of Racism

The Required Readings (other literature) and the Lecture and Tutorial content ask us to examine the many dimensions of Racism and notions of White Privilege, and Power. 

The Tutorials allowed us to apply the theories to practice and to make the links between the concepts and their relevance to working in Indigenous Australian contexts.

Reflections on the Required Readings – Understanding Terms & Concepts

Consider the Required Readings for Week 7 and respond to the following questions:

Reading 8.1     Pedersen, A. et.al. Attitudes Towards Indigenous Australians and Asylum Seekers: The role of false beliefs and other social-psychological variables, Australian Psychologist, 2005. 40 (3): pp. 170-178

Reading 8.2      The Australian Psychological Society Ltd (1997) Position Paper – Racism and Prejudice: Psychological Perspectives

Reading 8.3      Pettman, J. (1986) What is Racism? In Anti-Racism: A Handbook for Adult Educators


  1. Summarize the key messages you identified from Reading 8.1: the Pedersen, et.al. (2005) reading:

The most important meaning of this reading is related to the manner in which the Australians implemented restrictive approaches that would mitigate the arrivals of the asylum seekers (Pedersen, et.al. 2005). The author delves deep into the antecedents of prejudice against those seeking asylum in Australia and outlines some of the variables that are important and draws the practical implications associated with the prejudices in these interventions.  In other words, the author of this material discusses some of the practical experiences acquired in working with the asylum seekers in running anti-prejudice projects. It is therefore vital to consider that the author’s point of view in this material is to combat the demonization of those who seek asylum both structurally and individually.

(This section approx 100 words)

Comprehension – Applying Terms & Concepts

Week 8  – Power & Privilege

Exploring Power and White Privilege

White Privilege has been introduced to you in order to identify and establish a position from which dominant cultures view the Dimensions of Racism and can contribute more specifically to Institutional Racism.

For your responses in this section, it will be helpful to make reference to the Required Readings including:

Reading 9.1      McIntosh, P. White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Independent School, 1990, 49(2): pp. 31 – 37

Reading 9.2      Radermacher, H. ‘I’m White!  Oh I see!  An International student perspective on national curriculum guidelines for Indigenous issues in psychology’, Australian Community Psychologist, 2006, 18(1): pp. 33 – 39

Reading 9.3      Tannoch-Bland, J.  ‘Identifying White Race Privilege’, In ‘Bringing Australia Together:  the structure and experience of racism in Australia’, Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, Qld, 1998: pp. 33 – 38.

Also draw upon your reflections of Tutorial Activities

Reading 09.01 – White privilege : unpacking the invisible knapsack – McIntosh, Peggy (McIntosh, Peggy, 1990) 

Reading 09.03 – Identifying white race privilege – Tannoch-Bland, Jenny (Tannoch-Bland, Jenny, 1998) \

  1. In your own words, please write up a Definition Statement of White Privilege, as you have come to understand it:

As determined by different views of the authors stated, the element of white privilege is a term used to rationally defend the product of racism. Racism in this case is presented as more of discrimination against the black people in the Australian society and is an element that is socially contracted (McIntosh, 1990).  In this case, it can be summed up that the whites are given an upper hand in life with most of the privileges accorded to them under their powers. Racism is therefore discussed as a deliberate structuring of different privileges through a differential, objective and unequal treatment of a particular segment of people in the society.

White privilege as presented by these authors infers to some of the opportunities, benefits, and advantages, including general approaches of protection from the negative societal approaches of mistreatment (Radermacher, 2006). The individuals deemed as white are considered to enjoy some of the privileges within the society while the other suffers. The benefits enjoyed by the white population are considered to be material, social, and psychological.

These elements make the other races feel misplaced within the society. In other words, it is essential to consider that the term white privilege is simply beautified to show discrimination against different people of color (Tannoch-Bland, 1998). The whites are in this case accorded different benefits as compared to the other people of color, a factor that socially costs individuals.                                       

                                                                                    (This section approx 100 words)

  • Provide examples of how White Privilege is applied, and can become evident, in some everyday contexts and environments in Australia?  (approx 25 – 50 words each)

For example, in:

  1. Your Workplace or in your personal relationships

The white privilegesare evident within different workplaces, as this can be depicted in how employment and leadership roles are dispensed across the white population and the blacks. The whites are consequently accorded senior positions of leadership and are prone to get jobs in different organizations as compared to the blacks (Tannoch-Bland, 1998). The blacks in this case are awarded junior positions within the workplace and are subjected under strict terms in order to meet their objectives. The manner in which these individuals are also treated is another thing that is evident within the workplace environment.                

  • Policies& Practices

Some of the policies and practices that are developed within a state are considered as discriminatory since they tend to favor a particular race in the society. This can be viewed in the policies developed within work environments that restrict the black community on particular practices. For instance, the black community may be restricted on attending particular schools that are only meant for the white population.                        

  • Community Attitudes

The manner in which the community views each race also depicts the element of white privilege.The white population is consequently viewed as superior and has the privilege to achieve whatever they would desire. On the other hand, the white populations seethe blacks as asylum seekers and are less effective in the community. The community in this case defines the extent and the limits of engagement with these populations even in relationships, a factor that denotes the element of prejudice and racism.

                                                                                    (This section up to 150 words)

  • Write a 500 word Reflective Statement surrounding your exploration of Power, Privilege and related concepts.Use the following dot points to help frame your response:
  • Was White Privilege easy to define in your own context and in the context of the profession?

If not, why?

  • How did these concepts and the discussion challenge your thinking?

Examine and discuss any clarity, and/or discomfort you may have experienced with the concepts and literature

  • What conclusions you have drawn at this point in your learning?

In my view, defining the element of white privilege was not difficult to come by since it is an element that is evident in the society, a factor that makes it easy to identify with it. Within my profession, I have been in a position of identifying the white privileges in the manner in which roles and responsibilities are shared. This has resulted in segregations within the work environment, a factor that has affected the productivity of the organization.

On the other hand, it is essential to consider the fact that these concepts challenged my thinking in several ways. First, it becomes challenging to acknowledge the fact that the element of racism and discrimination still cuts across the 21st century society. This as depicted is driven by the proponents of globalization that has made the world into a small community. As a result of racism, the current dispensed society has been structured in light of privileges with the aim of achieving social advantage over the scarcities that have been witnessed in terms of resources, thus resulting into different ideologies that instill the element of supremacy within the society (Radermacher, 2006).

I have clearly learnt the rational for the justifications provided over the element of white privileges that centralizes the element of power position simply by initiating negative views, ideologies and meanings in the perceived differences in cultures and races(Radermacher, 2006). However, the aspect that challenges my thought more is the fact that prejudice and racism may not be viewed or considered as mental diseases or psychological challenges that are exhibited by people. The element of prejudice and discrimination is rather are cultural, rational and structural aspects that individuals use within the society to protect and defend power.

In as much as different views my support the element of white privileges, I believe the society is missing the wealth bestowed in cultures and races and the ability of individuals from these races. No person needs to suffer the consequences of discrimination because of their color or skin. In any case, if the skin or color was the issue, then one of the best solutions of solving the element of white privilege would be to change skin color (Radermacher, 2006). However, I have learnt that some of the challenges that exhibit the society may not be based or attributed to the color and skin, but to the systems and structures that have been developed to distribute evil within the society by justifying such evils on a segmented group. I believe that there is no wrong in being white or black, brown, or yellow, and we cannot assume that the skin forms the primary basis of prejudice and discrimination, but the negative sentiments and meaning that is ascribed to color. Color, in my view should be seen as natural, however, the mind is what gives it meaning.

In view of this study, some of the elements that I have drawn from this study includes the existence of prejudice and discrimination in this current society and the manner in which these views and ideologies infringe of the rights of innocent individuals who are named as asylum seekers for lack of a better word (Radermacher, 2006). The society still embraces he element of prejudice and discrimination and has only branded it different to give it a new feel, the primary reason why it is considered as the white privileges.

(500 word Minimum)

The National Inquiry Into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families identified a number of psychological and inter-generational effects of colonisationthat are experienced by Indigenous Australian people and communities today. 

The experiences and evidence are best documented in the Bringing Them Home Report.

We now need to start recognizing and considering these effects and the possible role for psychology in working with Indigenous Australians.

Comprehension of Readings and Links between Content

Consider the following Required Reading:

Reading 7.2      Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (1997) Bringing Them Home Report “Intergenerational Effects”

This reading briefly highlights four Inter-generational Effects of Colonisation as identified from the National Inquiry Into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families. 


  1. From this reading (and other literature based on your own research), complete the following table to identify the links between each of the four Inter-generational Effects, and historical events as explored in the course:

(An example is provided below)

Inter-generational Effect (Identified in Reading 8.03)  Historical Event List a corresponding historical event(s) and briefly describe the correlation
  Shorter Life Expectancy  As determined, some of the major causes of increased shortages in life expectancy during the first half of this current century if attributed to the failures in health that result from parasitic and infectious diseases. It is established that infectious and parasitic diseases haveimmensely resulted in the deaths of most of the Australians (Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997). However, as a result of the advances in the medical field, a reduction of these deaths has been noted. Additionally, the improvements in the living standards of individuals that are currently cautious about nutritional levels, better control of infections, water and sewer control and better sanitary have also seen changes in this aspects.
  Parenting    Parenting as established in this literature is affected especially as a result of children being removed from their parents as a result of separations (Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997). On the other hand, the socio-economic circumstances within many indigenous families has seen several children loose one or both of their parents while young, a factor that affects the manner in which they are raised. However, several families have incorporated the broader kingship approach in nurturing thee children.
  Behavioral Problems    Children removed from their families are considered to adapt different deviant behaviors as a result of proper upbringing due to the loss of their parents or separation.
  Unresolved Grief and Trauma    Unresolved grief and trauma are some of the evident effects that inhibit this population, thus affecting their lies and the manner in which they relate with the community. As a result of this, individuals are prone to developing behaviors that reflect their hunger.
  Depression and Mental Illness    Depression and mental illnesses are considered as some of the results of deviant behavior. Individuals who present these illnesses are bound to engage in different activities such as abuse of drugs in order to find comfort

(This section approx 100 words)


Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (1997): Bringing Them Home Report “Intergenerational Effects”.

McIntosh, P. (1990): White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Independent School, 49(2): pp. 31 – 37

Pedersen, A. et.al (2005): Attitudes towards Indigenous Australians and Asylum Seekers: The role of false beliefs and other social-psychological variables, Australian Psychologist, 40 (3): pp. 170-178.

Radermacher, H. (2006) ‘I’m White!  Oh I see!  An International student perspective on national curriculum guidelines for Indigenous issues in psychology’, Australian Community Psychologist, 2006, 18(1): pp. 33 – 39

Tannoch-Bland, J. (1998):‘Identifying White Race Privilege’, In ‘Bringing Australia Together:  the structure and experience of racism in Australia’, Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, Old: pp. 33 – 38.

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