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The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism / Edition 1
     

The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism / Edition 1

4.0 2
by Debra Van Ausdale, Joe R. Feagin, Van Debra Ausdale
 

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ISBN-10: 0847688623

ISBN-13: 9780847688623

Pub. Date: 12/11/2001

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

This study looks into how children learn about the 'first R'—race—and challenges the current assumptions with case-study examples from three child-care centers.

Parents and teachers will find this remarkable study reveals that the answer to how children learn about race might be more startling than could be imagined.

Overview

This study looks into how children learn about the 'first R'—race—and challenges the current assumptions with case-study examples from three child-care centers.

Parents and teachers will find this remarkable study reveals that the answer to how children learn about race might be more startling than could be imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780847688623
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/11/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
882,389
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.07(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Young Children Learning Racial and Ethnic Matters Chapter 3 Using Racial-Ethnic Distinctions to Define Self Chapter 4 Play Groups and Racial Matters Chapter 5 Using Racial-Ethnic Concepts to Define Other People Chapter 6 How Adults View Children Chapter 7 Conclusion: What and How Do Children Learn about Racial and Ethnic Matters? Chapter 8 A Postscript: What Can Be Done?

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The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Busy__Mom More than 1 year ago
I overheard my neighbors children (very young children) using racial epithets and discussing assiasinating the new president. I downloaded the summary of this book from ParentsDigest.com to sureptitiously leave on the neighbor's doorstep. Hopefully it will help the parents understand more about the effect they're having on their children, and everyone they come into contact with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From a very young age, people¿s perceptions of race and ethnicity become cemented in their psyche. Whether these perceptions come from experiences at home, in school, or other social realms, a lot of what guides these perceptions rests on the social interactions that produce certain encounters. Children have long been thought not be active participants in any of these spheres; they have been thought to be imitators of adults and solely the recipients of ideas and perceptions. In The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin, counter these popular conceptions about children and how they acquire information, particularly about race ethnicity. It is the authors¿ assertion, contrary to popular child development theory, that children are actively forming and interpreting concepts of race from a very young age. In this sociology work, there is an emphasis of the agency of children in recreating America¿s racial hierarchy. In other words, children are not the passive, egocentric characters adults make them out to be. In Chapter One, the authors give a literature review of child development theory and show the shortcomings of the various theories as they relate to children¿s acquisition of race and ethnicity. These major theories, they contend, are lacking in how they discuss children¿s grasp of social constructs. The subsequent argument is that these theories take the responsibility away from children. This `adult-centered¿ orientation, as the authors call it, looks at children as adults with deficits, and therefore lacking the ability to engage in thought about race or ethnicity. The authors write, ¿much in traditional social science analysis has conceptualized the socialization of children as a process in which complete adults instruct and train incomplete children, who thus imitate and mirror adults¿ (20). This explains why children, especially when they say something negative about a person of different race, are not blamed or scolded for their behavior. The authors use the shortcomings of these theories to set up the premises of their study of a multicultural day care center. The focus is taken away from this adult-oriented approach, and the observer, van Ausdale, takes a very passive role in the children¿s lives. It against this background that the analysis of children and race begins. Nowhere is it more obvious that children have a pretty sophisticated understanding of racial concepts than in Chapter Two, which discusses how children define themselves. The children are continuously forming and altering their perceptions of race as they interact with other children. There are several important themes that run through this chapter that bolster the authors¿ contention that children are `doing¿ life, not just preparing for it. There is the creation of a white identity from the exclusion of `others¿. At the outset of the chapter, the observer describes two white children running around with capes on saying, ¿Look. We are other people¿ (47). In one of numerous anecdotes and stories about the happenings of the day care center, we see the children actively processing racial concepts and reestablishing existing racial hierarchies. Another theme that emerges in this chapter is the idea of children of color building `tool boxes¿ to handle the hurt and anguish caused by racism. Again, there is a great deal of evidence to show that children are not just the passive recipients of information. These children are building themselves while interacting with the outside world. In Chapter Three, the discussion turns to the intricacies of children¿s play groups. We enter into the `deeper strata¿ of childrens¿ lives. The play groups serve as forums for social mores to come into play. The children interact with one another on many levels. The children use racial concepts to exclude one another from activity, and to insult each other. The example is given of a black girl an