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- PublicationSymbols and labels: Children’s awareness of social categories in a divided societyAims: How and when children develop an understanding of group boundaries have implications for conflict resolution. When social divisions are not perceptually distinct, symbols become particularly important. Framed by Social Identity Development Theory, this study was designed to assess children’s categorization of symbols with conflict-related group labels. Method: In Northern Ireland, 218 children (M=8.14, SD = 1.83, range 5-11 years old) participated in a novel task designed for this study. The sample was evenly split by child gender and community background. Results: Children sorted symbols above chance with both the hypothesized national (i.e., British/Irish) and ethno-political (i.e., Protestant/Catholic) labels, showing a stronger association for the former. Sorting was also stronger for ingroup symbols, compared to outgroup symbols, and increased with age. Conclusion: These findings reflect the potential role that a divided social world has on the development of children’s understanding of conflict-related groups. The results also have implications for intergroup relations among children in divided societies.
Scopus© Citations 14 167
- PublicationChildren’s understanding of ethnic group symbols: Piloting an instrument in the Republic of North MacedoniaAssessing children’s awareness of ethnic identity and group boundaries is important in conflict-affected societies. For example, in the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM), tense interethnic relations remain and can be seen in the largely separate living patterns, particularly in schools. This brief report analyses data from 194 children (57.7% female, 42.3% male; 45.9% Macedonian, 54.1% Albanian) in primary school. A series of one sample t-tests, with Bonferroni correction, demonstrate the viability of a new quantitative tool for measuring children’s awareness of symbols relevant to interethnic relations in RNM. The findings indicate that primary school aged children are able to sort both ingroup and outgroup symbols with the hypothesized ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic awareness is present among the earliest school grades and increases with age. This approach may be used in future research and adapted in other conflict-affected settings to better understand the foundations of children’s interethnic attitudes and behaviors.
Scopus© Citations 12 288