Attitudes to diversity: New perspectives on the ethnic geography of Brisbane, Australia

James Forrest*, Kevin Dunn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


As a consequence of changing immigration policy over the past 50 years, contemporary Australia has a culturally diverse population. Focusing on Brisbane, one of Australia's smaller immigrant-receiving cities but where some 19 per cent of the population is born overseas, this study examines attitudes to and perceptions of culturally different ethnic (non-Anglo) immigrant groups. Emphasis is placed on patterns of tolerance and intolerance for the city as a whole, both in areas of contact and in areas of minimal contact. Findings show that variations in attitudes vary somewhat from commonly accepted socioeconomic and age-based correlations (the lower the status or the older people are the less tolerant), depending on the particular mix of ethnic birthplace groups present. They also show levels of intolerance in areas of minimal contact, which is implicitly attributed to mass media influences. In light of these findings, a concluding plea is made for anti-intolerance strategies to be developed for cities that pay regard to the geography of attitude-forming contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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