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2.3.11 - Sociology 16:40 VanAusdale&Feagin:/EthnicConcepts...

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Sociology 16:40 Van Ausdale & Feagin: Pre-schoolers’ Use of Racial/Ethnic Concepts Research Question o Do preschool children understand and know how to employ racial/ethnic  concepts? Research Design o Observation of 3-5 year old children in somewhat diverse preschool for a  bout a year o “Least adult role”- acknowledging how hard it is for adults to blend in and  become part of the setting Do preschool children understand and know how to employ racial/ethnic  concepts? o YES! Children use these concepts to: o To exclude o To include o To define self o To define others o To control Adults do play a role. Teachers o Intervene or not- don’t force kids to be friends but work it out by talking Intervention can try to get kids to talk and work things out Child can still be excluded if teachers intervention makes a negative  impact  o Confirm or challenge children’s use of racial/ethnic concepts These pre-school interactions likely are the building blocks for children’s on- going constructions and uses of racial/ethnic concepts and categories What might the authors say about the doll experiments? o We want to know the social context and meaning why kids are choosing  these dolls o Social desirability- children know what answers are expected about them o “Racial knowledge is situational, and children can interact in a race-based  or race-neutral manner, according to their evaluations of [perceived]  appropriateness” (p. 791) o Must observe kids in real world setting
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What principles of the new sociology of childhood do the authors draw on?
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