chapter  8
24 Pages

Children's understanding of racial groups

Research in psychology exploring children's understanding of race is principally concerned with the development of racial prejudice, and, particularly in the last decades, with the cognitive processes (like stereotyping, illusory correlation, etc.) that give rise to it. Less effort has been invested in exploring the development of the concept of raceÐthe idea that human beings can be exhaustively partitioned into natural categories grounded in inherited biological differences. Several factors have contributed. Racial prejudice plays a crucial role in the organisation of political-economic life and is central to analyses of the nature and scope of social, economic, and psychological inequity. This in itself would doubtless privilege the study of racism as a political belief system over the study of race as a cognitive category.