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Title: Developing ethnic identities in middle childhood
Author: Lam, Virginia Lok-Shun.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3604 1881
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis reports an investigation into the development of ethnic identity during middle childhood. It commences with a literature review on ethnic identification, attitudes and interactions and their dominant theories. It is argued that ethnic identity development is simultaneously cognitive and social and relates to cognitive changes, schemas and social relationships. This research combines different methodologies to explore the multifaceted nature of its development. The report of empirical work begins with an ethnography into ethnic interactions. Two critical themes are that children tended to play more with same-ethnic (ingroup) peers and expected these others to play together. This theme is examined in two experiments. 84 white, Asian and black children, aged 5,6-7, and 8-9 years, rated their own and white, Asian and black others' (,targets') liking for toys and foods. Ethnocentric inference (that ethnic ingroup members would like things similar to oneself) was found at 6-7 years. Verbal justifications from 8-9-year-olds indicate more sophisticated expectations about group members. A conceptual and methodological amalgamation of the last two phases was undertaken in three final studies. 220 7-year-old white and Asian children in same- or different-ethnic dyads discussed their preference for white and Asian targets. They also discussed targets' preferences for them and each other as pairs. Different-ethnic dyads had more difficulty resolving differences since each partner preferred an ingroup target. Same-ethnic dyads were more likely to select an ingroup target, pair ingroup targets together, and share their choices from the outset. Asian-dyads were more likely to reason by ethnicityIt is concluded that this investigation demonstrates that in middle childhood children prefer, identify and interact more with same-ethnic members. These processes are augmented by an emerging recognition that others sharing one's ethnicity also share deeper attributes. However, the relationship between identity components remains unclear and could be illuminated by further research
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available