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The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism (Hardback)
  • The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism (Hardback)
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The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism (Hardback)

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£17.95
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 22/11/2000
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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.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847688616
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 234 x 157 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A wonderfully vivid account of how children learn about the 'first R'-race-even before they start school. The authors show how children as young as three have entered into and are experimenting with the tangled ideologies of race of the adult world. -- Barrie Thorne, author of Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School
A landmark study that should change our understanding of the social genesis and maintenance of racism and the dynamics of hegemony. It is a must-read for anyone, especially parents and teachers interested in how these dynamics come into being, and it should be required reading in all school systems and universities. -- Lewis R. Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, University of Connecticut
A sensitive and politically sophisticated work of on-site observation and engaging scholarship which ought to shake our nation from its equanimity. The lessons we were given long ago by Dr. Kenneth Clark and, nearly a hundred years ago, by W.E.B. Du Bois have yet to be internalized. Perhaps, as the authors of this valuable and stirring work suggest, it is our children who will prove to be our wisest teachers. -- Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools, author of Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools
Vivid and provocative. * Kirkus *
Van Ausdale and Feagin challenge conventional theories of child development that are 'adultcentric' and removed, based mostly on attitude testing and behavioral checklists. The authors spent a year at a racially diverse day care center, observing children from three to six years old. The authors suggest that racially hostile and discriminatory behavior among children needs far more study and attention than it has had to date. * Booklist *
Van Ausdale sought honesty from the children by never playing the role of 'sanctioning' adult, so that children learned to act more freely in front of her than they did in the presence of teachers. . . . The implication [of the author's work] is that racism will be much harder to root out than once believed, which makes the active teaching of tolerance all the more important. * The Instrumentalist *
Early education professionals and interested parents will find it an important addition to their collections. * Publishers Weekly *
The primary value of the book lies in its numerous interactional vignettes. This is an empirically rich book. * CHOICE *
This is a scrupulously researched book. * Times Educational Supplement *
A groundbreaking study of children's behavior, attitudes, and assumptions around race. * EBONY *
Van Ausdale wrote about her findings with co-author Joe Feagin in their book The First R. What she saw in her research goes against what we want to believe. Those passionate about ending racism can believe Van Ausdale's findings. * Grand Rapids Press *
Dr. Debra Van Ausdale, co-author of The First R, gives stirring accounts of kids and race in her study of three child-care centers. * The Dallas Morning News *
While researching her book The First R, sociologist Debra Van Ausdale found that very young children form strong opinions about race. * African-American Parent *
In The First R, Debra Van Ausdale and Joe R. Feagin do the study of race a great service by centering analysis on the activity of very young children. The book reminds readers of a crucial fact: all Americans, even the tiniest ones, build our racial orders together. * American Journal of Sociology *
The First R is an extremely rich ethnographic study of children's racial understandings and constructions of meaning. Its fascinating glimpse into the world of children making meaning about race effectively refutes common views of children's relationship to race. * Teachers College Record *
Despite the weight of the issues it addresses, this book is anything but heavy going. From the very first page, much of it is engaging. I highly recommend it. -- Ann Phoenix, Open University
Psychologists, teachers, parents and researchers in the field of child development should make this book essential reading. * British Journal of Educational Psychology *

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