ERIC Number: ED441563
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Social Categories and the Salience of Race.
Vora, Parul; England, Eileen M.
Research has shown that children use physical features to distinguish among people, and that race can be distinguished by certain features such as skin color and the shape of eyes, nose, and lips. However, L. Hirschfeld (1993, 1994) has argued that children must have the concept of race before they form the race social category and that other categories are more important to children than race. The purpose of this study was to determine whether 6-year-olds categorize people by race, whether they have a concept of race, and whether race is a salient category. Six- and seven-year-olds sorted pictures of people who varied in gender, age, and race. The majority of both age groups sorted the pictures into racial categories first, demonstrating that these children categorize by race and that race was salient. Further, the majority of the 7-year-olds indicated that they had formed a concept of race. Contrary to predictions, children categorized gender least often. This finding may be because children placed more importance on race than on gender or age because race is a new social category for them. Six-year-olds appear to be in a transitional phase in the formation of the racial category. (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A