Making Information Meaningful

Multi-cultural studies

ASR has conducted numerous studies involving people from different ethnic backgrounds and particularly new migrants to Australia. Particular challenges when working in the multi-cultural space include:

  • Respondents’ English literacy levels, as well as literacy levels in general
  • Working with translators and interpreters
  • Respondents’ understanding of the concept of research
  • Social approval issues when self-completing questionnaires or talking in discussion groups
  • Working with bilingual interviewers
  • Perceived personal risk in respondents identifying themselves, particularly to those in authority
  • Identifying and recruiting respondents.

The types of multi-cultural and new migrant studies ASR has been involved with include:

  • Evaluation of a program focused on new migrants learning about Australia from long-term Australian residents / citizens
  • Immigration detainees’ experiences in detention
  • Visiting detention facilities
  • Student visa holders’ experiences of government service
  • Predicting settlement outcomes of new migrants
  • Longitudinal studies of skilled migrants and their economic contribution to Australia
  • Working holiday makers’ Australian experiences
  • Migration agents’ background and response to registration changes

Studies have covered a range of methodologies including extensive face-to-face interviews, large scale paper, telephone and web surveys, and some longitudinal tracking studies. Larger studies have involved considerable pilot testing and most have involved working with interpreters and translators.