Racial attitudes are learned during the preschool years and directly reflect the attitudes and actions of American society. Using the self-portraits, stories, and doll-play of 400 children 3 to 5 years old, Judith Porter investigated the effects of such sociological variables as age, race, skin color, social class, interracial contact, and sex, both alone and in combination with other variables on the children's racial preferences. She is one of the first to relate these attitudes to actual interaction patterns in integrated kindergartens. Her research sheds new light on the ways in which early encounters with racism and prejudice affect the self-esteem, racial self-concept, and personality development of black children. Her study includes new findings on the effect of social class on the formation of racial attitudes. She concludes with a discussion of the implications of the data for theory, for future research, and for public policy, as well as specific recommendations for the creation of high-quality integrated nursery schools.
- 278 pages
- Harvard University Press
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