ERIC Number: ED146300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
The Unexpected Minority: White Children in an Urban School and Neighborhood.
Schafft, Gretchen E.
The purpose of this dissertation, an ethnographic case study of white children attending an urban, public elementary school with a ninety percent black enrollment, is to examine their strategic adaptations and to gauge the effect of these adaptations on actual cross-racial interactions. The data were collected through participant and non-participant observation carried out during the 1974-75 school year. The theoretical perspective used in this research is symbolic interactionism. This point of view assumes that social interaction is a dynamic process determined in large part by the participants' prior experience, values, information, and on-going assessment of the situation. Four adaptive strategies used by white children in their school and neighborhood are identified. Briefly they are as follows: (1) they adapt by developing linguistic versatility through the internalization of rules for appropriate code switching behavior, (2) they use school and neighborhood territory differentially by defining which locales are supportive and not threatening, (3) they form work and play alliances in order to form a buffer between themselves and others with whom they do not feel comfortable, and (4) they find community "brokers" to serve as a bridge between themselves and their black peers. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Black Students, Educational Environment, Ethnography, Minority Group Children, Racial Relations, Urban Schools, White Students
University Microfilms, Dissertation Copies, P.O. Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 76-20,232)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A