Australia is modern, worldly society that in
the last 20 years or so has witnessed the arrival of big numbers of migrants
from Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
The thought of a predominantly population in Australia something the people
stopped talking about ever since 1966. However, the heterogeneous Australian
population continues to hold on to the concept of a ‘white Australia’ and
discerns the increasing number of non-white people residing in the country
(Teo, 2000).

In the year 2000, two major Australian
newspapers have received attention about a Vietnamese gang in Australia and published news reports about their
violent activities. According to the article by Teo, these reports have been
reviewed using critical discourse analysis in two stages. First, he noticed the
reporters singling the Vietnamese people out and stereotyping them because of
their ethnicity by the ‘white’ people who make up the majority of the
population. The act of categorizing people based on their ethnic backgrounds is
one of the most controversial behaviours that directly links to racism. For
example, Asians have a distinct appearance to Caucasian people and appear
yellow skinned, dark haired, and narrow eyed, all features that the Asian race
is often even ridiculed for. In the same way, those white people who believe
they look ‘normal’ as opposed to others, appear white skinned, blonde haired,
and blue eyed to the Asians, which the Asians find peculiar.

Physical appearances are not the only factor that
leads to racial stereotypes, behaviour is another. If, as a parent, you saw a
black child take an eraser from your Caucasian child’s hand without permission
some would see this as aggressive and would instinctively remove their child
from proximity of the black toddler (ibid). However, if it was their own child
who did that they would attribute that behaviour to self-confidence, because of
their skin colour. The second stage the reports were evaluated is by comparing
the analysis of two articles separately, which led the author to conclude that
there is evidence of a power discourse between the ethnic group and the white
people based on their respective racist beliefs (ibid).

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From his own critical discourse analysis, the author
has concluded that the newspaper reporters have indeed been bias and have shown
us how the society in such a modern and cosmopolitan country such as Australia
can be divided into a powerful white population and an ethnic minority. CDA of racism
in the news helps in clarifying the relationship between discourse and society.

Categories: Articles


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