In what ways does one's race/ethnicity shape one's life-chances in contemporary society?

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Our lives are shaped by who we are and what we are and where we come from. What race or ethnic group we belong to determines our life chances in contemporary society. Ethnicity is the cultural background of a group of people who share a belief in common ancestry. According to Max Weber, ethnic groups are formed by colonisation and immigration. Ethnicity is something we all have but in Australia and in many parts of the world, ethnicity is often applied on minority groups to highlight dominant groups of people on the bases of physical appearance, race, origins or culture. Being part of a dominant group provides prestige, power and control over the running of societies. The term ethnic comes from ancient Greek to mean gentile or non Christians. It was also used to refer to 'other people', separating 'us' and 'them'. The definition of ethnicity changes over time and place.

In the case of Australia and in many parts of the western world, the recognition of a dominant ethnic group is through their 'whiteness' of their appearance (Holmes at al 2007:144 - 154). 'Whiteness' played a central part in Australia's history. The white Australia policy of 1902 paved the way to a white, democratic society for those who were allowed into the country to shared in the prosperity and discriminated against migrants who were regarded as 'others' based on their colour, race and ethnicity (Jakubowicz 2002:107). Anglo-Celtic individuals from countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and North America were considered white whereas other Europeans like the Greeks and the Italians were considered not as white as people from Anglo-Celtics origins but were whiter than the Asians (Holmes at el 2007: 159).

What ethnicity one belongs to does shape one's life-chances in contemporary society. Life chance described by Max...