Preschool Children's Awareness of and Attitudes Toward Difference: A Study of 3- and 4-Year-Old Children in Northern Ireland

Paul Connolly

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a large-scale survey (n = 1,049) of the ethnic awareness and attitudes of 3-4 year old children in Northern Ireland. In drawing upon and applying Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, the paper demonstrates how even at this age, the children are already beginning to embody and internalize the cultural habits and dispositions of their respective ethnic groups. This was found in relation to the children’s: friendships choices; preferences for particular national flags; and dispositions towards specific sports associated with their respective communities. Informed by the work of Bourdieu, the paper concludes by arguing for the need for greater use of quantitative methods employing multivariate and multilevel statistical analyses and for these to be based on a more open and meaningful engagement with the findings of indepth qualitative and ethnographic research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
EventAmerican Educational Research Association Annual Meeting - New York, New York, United States
Duration: 24 Mar 200828 Apr 2008

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Educational Research Association Annual Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityNew York
Period24/03/200828/04/2008

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