The development of a measure of racism for the post apartheid South African context.
Traditionally, the racial views of whites towards blacks have been studied in the context of old-fashioned styles of racism. This meant that, methodologically, attitude items were often direct and crude in content, reflecting the openly racist sentiment of the time. Recent research, however, provides evidence to suggest that racism has changed and people no longer endorse or support blatantly racist expression. As a result, racial attitude research methods have had to adapt from obtrusive, to more sophisticated, unobtrusive methods. Over 10 years since its first democratic election, South Africa stands as a particularly important context in which to explore the racial views of people and more specifically, the theories of contemporary racisms; yet, research in this area remains largely unexplored. From a methodological perspective, South African research has also been flawed with 2 fundamental problems. First, few locally developed racial attitude measures exist, compelling the use of modified international measures. These scales, however, may prove problematic in that they may not demonstrate adequate content and face validity for the South African context. Second, this research reflects a sample bias of studying the views of white students. In response to these methodological flaws, the present research set out to develop a contemporary, multi-racial response measure of racial attitudes for the South African context. The Racial Justice Scale (RJS) was developed in accordance with the stylistic requirements of contemporary theories of racism on the basis of 2 sources of information; (1) a database of racial attitude items; and (2) a database of over 7000 discursive statements expressed by multiple race groups in the country on racial issues in South Africa. These expressions were derived from various newspaper articles, ranging from the years 1977 - 2001. Initial explorations of the RJS indicated it to be highly reliable for both whites and Indians (cronbach alpha's were 0.82 and 0.72 respectively), however, not as effective for blacks and coloureds. The RJS and the notion of contemporary racism is discussed in the context of contemporary South Africa.