Redrawing Lines in the Sand? An Examination of Discrimination Patterns Within New Zealand
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This research examined discrimination in New Zealand by uncovering the relationship between discrimination, the student’s experiences and their perceptions of New Zealand. Research into discrimination is important, especially with discrimination and xenophobia on the rise overseas as a consequence of the contemporary volatile international political climate (European Union, 2015; Roth, 2017). This research employed a quantitative research method. A sample of 106 students from Auckland University of Technology were drawn through convenience sampling. The quantitative data was analysed using multiple classification analysis to uncover potential patterns of discrimination. The responses for the open-ended questions was analysed using thematic analysis to help contextualise the quantitative findings. The analysis of the findings utilised a language of rights to provide meaningful and practical insights into how discrimination can be reduced in an equitable and empowering process. A range of different types of discrimination were explored within this research. An inequity within the discourse of discrimination is highlighted where the rights of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups are favoured while overlooking the rights of others. While this favouritism may be fundamental for the realisation of the rights that the disadvantaged groups are entitled to, this often comes at a price of marginalising other groups as they are blamed or scapegoated for the inequality and discrimination within a society. Moreover, this can lead to resentment towards the disadvantaged groups, thus further entrenching negative bad even discriminatory attitudes. The elimination of discrimination relies on the deconstruction of underlying social structures that maintain or reinforce prejudice attitudes and stereotypes. Consequently, this research suggests that policy practitioners focus on changing public understandings of discrimination and perceptions of the disadvantaged groups rather than solely relying on retrospective, affirmative action/ positive discrimination.