Writers since Piaget have questioned when and how children assimilate racist attitudes--or simply become aware of racial differences. This remarkable book offers stirring evidence that the answers may be more surprising than we ever imagined. The rich accounts of children's behavior around race are drawn from Van Ausdale's ethnographies, conducted in several multi-ethnic day-care centers. When she persistently divested herself of any authoritative role, children as young as 3 years gradually revealed to her a surprising array of racial attitudes, assumptions, and behaviors--most of which they normally withhold from parents and adult companions. The careful ethnographic analysis, conducted over many months, lead the authors to question many of our long-held assumptions about the nature of race and racial learning in American society. The stories of the children are compelling, often endearing, and unforgettable. They will change the way parents, teachers, and other educators understand the world as seen by children.
About the Author
Debra Van Ausdale is assistant professor of sociology at Syracuse University, where her research interests continue to focus on children and racism. She is also conducting ethnographic research on the American motorcycling community. Joe R. Feagin is graduate research professor in sociology at the University of Florida. Among his many books are Living with Racism: The Black Middle Class Experience (1994, with Mel Sikes); and White Racism: The Basics (1995, with Hernan Vera). Living with Racism and White Racism have won the Gustavus Myers Center's Outstanding Human Rights Book Award.