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Open Access RACIAL ATTITUDES AMONG SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: A FOLLOW-UP STUDY AFTER FOUR YEARS

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Abstract:

In 2002, moderately high levels of modern and old-fashioned racism were documented in a representative sample of 433 students registered in undergraduate courses at a South African university (Pillay & Collings, 2004). In 2006, this survey was replicated using identical methods of data collection and a sample which was representative of university enrolments for 2006 in terms of gender and race: N = 543, gender = 50% female; race = black (40%), Indian (40%), white (17%), colored (3%). Over the four-year period, there was a significant increase in mean item-scores for old-fashioned racism [M = 1.95 vs. 2.15; F(1,971) = 15.16, p < .01], and this finding was supported by a significant study x race interaction, F(3,971) = 6.33, p < .05. Mean item scores increased significantly over time among Indians (2.11 vs. 2.29) but not among blacks (1.74 vs. 1.76), coloreds (2.01 vs. 2.04), or whites (2.33 vs. 2.35). A significant increase in levels of modern racism over the four-year period [M = 2.74 vs. 3.10; F(1,971) = 8.48, p < .01] was indicated by a significant study x race interaction, F(3,971) = 7.31, p < .05, with mean item scores increasing significantly over time among Indians (2.94 vs. 3.62) and whites (3.00 vs. 3.58) but not among blacks (2.04 vs. 2.06) or coloreds (2.47 vs. 2.49). Together these findings suggest that both overt and covert forms of racism persist, with levels of racism varying as a function of racial group membership.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.8.1061

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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