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Keywords:

  • Cross-cultural perspective;
  • discrimination;
  • prejudice;
  • social issues;
  • social processes and issues;
  • social psychology;
  • stereotyping

This research examined cross-national differences in the extent to which majority ethnic group members (White Europeans) in Australia and New Zealand automatically privileged members of their ingroup, relative to Indigenous targets, in cognitive representations of nationhood. As predicted, European Australian undergraduates implicitly associated their own ethnic group with the concept of “Australian”, relative to Aboriginal Australian targets (N = 50), but the implicit preferencing of Whiteness in representations of nationhood (relative to Maori targets) was absent in a comparable sample of New Zealand European undergraduates (N = 50). These results indicate that the extent to which representations of minority groups are interwoven with non-conscious cognitive representations of nationhood and national identity are not immutably fixed. Instead, it is argued that this cross-national difference is due to underlying systemic differences in the extent to which symbolic markers of Indigenous culture, identity, and values are consensually represented in majority group (White) national culture.