Symbols and labels: Children’s awareness of social categories in a divided society

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Title: Symbols and labels: Children’s awareness of social categories in a divided society
Authors: Taylor, Laura K.Dautel, JocelynRylander, Risa
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Date: Jul-2020
Online since: 2020-11-11T13:19:01Z
Abstract: Aims: 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.
metadata.dc.description.othersponsorship: Queens University Belfast. School of Psychology
Northern Ireland Department for the Economy (DfE)
UKRI GCRF Global Impact Accelerator Awards (GIAA)
British Psychological Society (BPS). Social Psychology Section
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: Journal of Community Psychology
Volume: 48
Issue: 5
Start page: 1512
End page: 1526
Copyright (published version): 2020 Wiley Periodicals
Keywords: ChildrenIntergroup relationsNorthern IrelandPolitical conflictSocial categories
DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22344
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0090-4392
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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