Chapter

Peace Psychology in Australia

Part of the series Peace Psychology Book Series pp 107-120

Date:

Attitudes Towards Asylum Seekers: The Australian Experience

  • Nick HaslamAffiliated withPsychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne
  • , Elise HollandAffiliated withPsychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne

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Abstract

Australian public opinion towards asylum seekers has often been unwelcoming at best and hostile at worst. This chapter examines the psychological underpinnings of these negative sentiments, exploring the demographic, ideological and personality factors associated with them, and the multiple, interwoven components of them. We examine the extent to which antipathy towards asylum seekers reflects racism, nationalism, social norms and a variety of emotional dynamics (fear, anger and disgust) and close with an examination of the ways in which asylum seekers are represented as less than human. Implications for changing public sentiment are discussed.