AC W10 Kids Stereotypes about Gender and Race

AC W10 Kids Stereotypes about Gender and Race - 1 Q&A: How...

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How do children respond to stereotypes about race, religion and gender? A child- development expert looks at contradictions in kids’ behavior. WEB EXCLUSIVE By Anna Kuchment Newsweek Updated: 1:05 p.m. ET Feb 26, 2007 Feb. 26, 2007 - Child-development experts have spent years studying geekdom: what it is that makes  one child more likely to be rejected by another. But University of Maryland professor Melanie Killen took a  different approach. Instead of focusing on social deficits, Killen, associate director of the Center for Children,  Relationships and Culture, focused on another category of rejection—when children are excluded because  of gender, race or ethnicity rather than their behavior. Killen calls it “group membership.” Her study,  “Children’s Social and Moral Reasoning About Exclusion,” published in this month’s issue of Current  Directions in Psychological Science, shows that kids become aware of group membership from at least the  time they’re in preschool. But, while kids universally feel that it’s unfair to reject someone based exclusively  on their gender, race or religion, there are some situations in which they do so anyway. Killen spoke to  NEWSWEEK’s Anna Kuchment about why that’s the case. Excerpts: NEWSWEEK: Why are we so fascinated with the question of exclusion and inclusion?   Melanie Killen:  As adults, we all have to navigate social groups. We’re in hundreds of groups throughout  our lives: at work, in higher education, in community organizations. Every time you join a group there are  entry rituals—you have to apply, you have to know the group’s prior history. Understanding these nuances is  a key to social and professional success. Why did you decide to focus on group discrimination, rather than on “Mean Girls”-style popularity  contests and bullying? Our approach is: yeah, there are times when kids are rejected because they’re not good at social skills, but 
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2012 for the course COMM 1000345 taught by Professor Mccloud during the Fall '10 term at Mohawk College.

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AC W10 Kids Stereotypes about Gender and Race - 1 Q&A: How...

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