Colorblind Ideology in Children

On Thursday, we talked about the use of colorblind ideology in general, but what I found most interesting was the way in which it was taught to children. In the study by Apfelbaum et al. (2010), children were put into two conditions: one in which colorblind ideology was taught and one in which talking about racial differences was promoted, or the value-diversity condition. The thing that interested me the most was the way in which they explained their reasoning behind either colorblind ideology or talking about racial differences. The color-blind condition focused on similarities. The message that was told to the children was, “…we need to focus on how we are similar to our neighbors rather than how we are different. We want to show everyone that race is not important and that we’re all the same”. The value- diversity version focused on recognizing differences and celebrating them. The statement taught to these students was, “…we need to recognize how we are different from our neighbors and appreciate those differences. We want to show everyone that race is important because our racial differences make each of us special”.

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What Just Happened?

We did this experiment in class last week where we split the class into two groups. Both groups were told to make a collage of positive images of Black men and women from magazine clippings we were given. The only difference was that one group was given exceptional tools (big scissors, tape, large paper, and magazine clippings from Essence ect.) and the other team was given poor tools (little scissors, little tape, small paper, and clippings from gossip magazines with poor images of Blacks). The difference of tools between the groups were unknown and not recognized by anyone except the professor. Lastly we were told that this was going to be a competition and that there would be a winner and loser, to give some incentive to do our best.

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Stereotype Threat Prevention

I have found that many of the articles we read throughout this course are informative but most of them leave me with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. I really liked the ending of the Steele article because it gave an answer or an idea on how to prevent stereotype threat. The article said that black students who attended the informal weekly rap sessions between white and black students had reduced feelings of stereotype threat and increased grades because the white students and the black students were voicing similar concerns and it made the concerns less racial which made them feel more comfortable and not feel that they were being judged.

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