Report finds social cohesion stable despite changing landscape

October 26, 2012
Social cohesion stable despite changing landscape

The 2012 'Mapping Social Cohesion Report' - Australia's largest survey of social cohesion, immigration and population issues, authored by Monash University's Professor Andrew Markus and produced by the Scanlon Foundation, was released today.

With a data bank of more than 15,000 participant responses, collected over five surveys beginning in 2007, the report tracks attitudes on key indicators of .

Issues covered include maintaining the Australian way of life, trust in fellow and government, discrimination and views on immigration and asylum policy.

In 2012, the report shows that at a broad level, social cohesion remains stable, despite a growing population, increased diversity and recent .

Life in areas of high immigrant concentration is also explored this year through a series of four surveys in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Professor Andrew Markus of Monash University's School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies has authored the reports for the last five years.

"Over the last ten years, Australia's population has increased by 15 per cent or close to three million. However, both Australian born and overseas born Australians continue to have a strong sense of belonging and pride in the Australian way of life," Professor Markus said.

"The has, to date, had little impact on Australians' satisfaction with their financial circumstances, and 81per cent of people see Australia as a land of economic opportunity."

The 2012 report indicates positive shifts in public attitude, particularly around discrimination and sense of trust in fellow Australians. Since 2007, reported levels of discrimination had been increasing, however in 2012, there was a slight drop.

Trust in government to do the right thing for the Australian people "almost always" or "most of the time" has almost halved - from 48 per cent in 2009 to just 26 per cent in 2012.

Attitudes toward immigration remain largely unchanged since 2011, with 56 per cent of people of the opinion that the current immigrant intake is "about right", or "too low". 

"There is strong support, in the range of 77 per cent, for people who arrive under the skill and family streams of the immigration program, refugees admitted after overseas processing of their claims, and overseas students," Professor Markus said.

"In contrast, less than one in four respondents thought asylum seekers arriving by boat should be eligible for permanent settlement."

Such support differs widely depending on political affiliation. For example, 62 per cent of respondents who indicated that they would probably vote Greens support eligibility for permanent settlement, but support declines dramatically among Labor (29 per cent) and Liberal (12 per cent) supporters.

In 2012, attitudes in four of Australia's high immigrant, low income Local Government Areas were also surveyed. Some 2000 interviews were conducted in Fairfield and Bankstown in Sydney, and Hume and Greater Dandenong in Victoria.  

Explore further: Immigration and the resources boom

Related Stories

Immigration and the resources boom

July 18, 2011
New research from Monash University has found that Australia’s population circumstances demand an immigration program which addresses problems of sustainability, particularly as they affect the quality of urban life ...

Mums are heading back to work sooner and it is stressing them out

June 23, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Sole parents and married mums are working more, leading to more time in childcare for their kids and decreases in the parents overall life and job satisfaction, according to news stats from the Melbourne ...

Recommended for you

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

September 20, 2017
First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers

September 19, 2017
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.