The Stereotypes Of Indigenous Australians And Torres Strait Islanders

1294 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
The injustice of stereotypes begins with depictions of diverse groups as uniform. For Indigenous Australian stereotypes, there are prevailing negative views of laziness, welfare abuse, substance abuse, and criminality (Perkins, 2014). Initial negative stereotypes of Indigenous Australians were based on social-Darwinist theories (Harrison & Sellwood, 2016). However, contemporary stereotypes might be attributed to ignorance of Australia’s past paternalistic colonialism on contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Stereotypes negatively impact the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is clear in constructing identity, and the expectations others have of Indigenous Australians. Identity is often constructed based on affiliations with particular groups. When one identifies with a group, one mimics the perceived qualities of that group (Swann, Jetten, Gomez, Whitehouse & Bastian, 2012). For Indigenous Australians, they may conform to the above negative stereotypes partly because of how they are represented in the dominant culture. Forrest notes that dominant cultural perspectives bombard Indigenous Australians (Forrest, n.d.). Therefore, prevailing negative stereotypes and conformity with those stereotypes can be attributed to the dominant culture.

Knowledge of negative stereotypes can influence people’s performance. Stereotype threat creates extra performance pressure through apprehensiveness about conforming to negative stereotypes (Woolfolk &…
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