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ERIC Number: ED468289
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Race, Ideology and the Social Construction of Target Populations: A New Perspective on Education Policymaking.
Hirshberg, Diane
This report discusses a study examining the impact of race on education policy decision-making. Though focusing primarily upon the process of change within schools, it also sought to understand the broader social and political context affecting reforms. The study was prompted by the discovery of high dropout rates and generally low achievement of Alaska Native students throughout the state. Research questions included: How do education policymakers construct their target population? How do social constructions of race and ethnicity underlie these constructions? and Are these constructions related to decision-making? Members of the Health, Education, and Social Services committees in both houses of the Alaska State Legislature were interviewed during one legislative session. Interviewees fell into three attitude groups: advocates, sympathizers, and adversaries. Results suggest that, in the United States, political ideology is fundamentally linked with racial attitudes. This study extends the theory of the social construction of target populations by incorporating the role of racial attitudes and shows that it is not possible to understand education policymaking without looking at racial constructs. It is hoped that results of this study can help policymakers and Native Alaskan peoples understand and identify conflicting ideas and beliefs that undermine sound policy decision-making. (Contains 23 references.) (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska