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Children and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity

ISBN: 978-1-4443-9630-0
248 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Children and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity (1444396307) cover image


Children and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity explores the origins of prejudice and the emergence of morality to explain why children include some and exclude others.
  • Formulates an original theory about children’s experiences with exclusion and how they understand the world of discrimination based on group membership
  • Brings together Social Domain Theory and Social Identity Theory to explain how children view exclusion that often results in prejudice, and inclusion that reflects social justice and morality
  • Presents new research data consisting of in-depth interviews from childhood to late adolescence, observational findings with peer groups, and experimental paradigms that test how children understand group dynamics and social norms, and show either group bias or morality
  • Illustrates data with direct quotes from children along with diagrams depicting their social understanding
  • Presents new insights about the origins of prejudice and group bias, as well as morality and fairness, drawn from extensive original data
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Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface xi

Preface xiii

Chapter 1 Introduction: Exclusion and Inclusion in Children’s Lives 1

Theories of Social Cognition, Social Relationships, and Exclusion 3

Types of Exclusion 6

Goals of the Book 7

Summary 7

Chapter 2 The Emergence of Morality in Childhood 9

Morality in Childhood 10

What Morality is Not 10

Criteria, Definitions, and Measurements of Morality 11

Morality Encompasses Judgment, Emotions, Individuals, and Groups 12

Social Precursors of Moral Judgment 13

Moral Judgment and Interaction in Childhood 19

Morality as Justice 23

Social Domain Model of Social and Moral Judgment 25

Moral Generalizability 30

Morality in the Context of Other Social Concepts: Multifaceted Events 32

Morality and Theory of Mind 34

Morality and Social-Cognitive Development 35

Summary 35

Chapter 3 Emergence of Social Categorization and Prejudice 37

Social Categorization as a Precursor of Prejudice 38

Explicit Biases in Young Children 44

Cognitive Developmental Approach to Prejudice Development 47

Development of Implicit Biases 50

Relation of Implicit Bias to Judgment and Behavior: Is it Prejudice? 53

Summary 57

Chapter 4 Group Identity and Prejudice 59

Is Group Identity Good or Bad? 60

Social Identity Theory 62

Social Identity Development Theory 64

Theory of Social Mind and the Control of Prejudice 68

Moral or Group Norms and the Control of Prejudice 70

Processes Underlying the Control of Prejudice 73

Developmental Subjective Group Dynamics 77

Morality and Group Identity 81

Summary 84

Chapter 5 What We Know about Peer Relations and Exclusion 86

Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Exclusion: Social Traits and Individual Differences 87

Intragroup and Intergroup Exclusion: Ingroup/Outgroup Identity 90

Social Reasoning and Exclusion 92

Gender Exclusion in Early Childhood: Okay or Unfair? 94

Comparing Gender and Racial Exclusion: Group Goals and Qualifications 97

Interviewing Ethnic Minority and Majority Children and Adolescents about Exclusion 100

Social Reasoning about Exclusion in Adolescence: Crowds, Cliques, and Networks 108

Social Reasoning about Sexual Prejudice 108

Exclusion in Interracial Encounters: Lunch Table, Birthday Parties, and Dating 109

Gender Exclusion in the Family Context: Children’s Views about Parental Expectations 113

Summary 116

Chapter 6 Intragroup and Intergroup Exclusion: An In-depth Study 118

Group Dynamics: Conceptions of Groups in the Context of Exclusion 118

Group Dynamics: Group Identity, Group-Specific Norms, Domain-Specific Norms 119

Group-Specific Norms 123

Deviance in Social Groups 123

Group Identity 124

Implications for Group Identity in Childhood 132

Summary 132

Chapter 7 Peer Exclusion and Group Identity Around the World: The Role of Culture 134

Cultural Context of Exclusion 136

Long-Standing Intergroup Cultural Conflicts 137

Cultures with Intractable and Violent Conflict 138

Recently Immigrated Groups 143

Intergroup Exclusion Based on Indigenous Groups 151

Summary 152

Chapter 8 Increasing Inclusion, Reducing Prejudice, and Promoting Morality 154

Intergroup Contact and Reducing Prejudice 156

Intergroup Contact and Children 157

Cross-group Friendships and Prejudice 158

Intergroup Contact and Minority Status Children 163

Reducing Implicit Biases through Intergroup Contact 165

Reducing Prejudice through Extended Intergroup Contact 166

Promoting Inclusion through the Mass Media 171

Intergroup Contact and Promoting Moral Reasoning in Children 174

Multicultural Education and Social Exclusion 176

Factors that Reduce Childhood Bias 178

Summary 180

Chapter 9 Integration of Morality, Prejudice, and Group Identity: A New Perspective on Social Exclusion 181

Theories about Peer Relationships 181

Theories about Social Exclusion 183

Children as Active Participants 185

Judgments, Beliefs, Attitudes, Attributions of Emotions, and Behavior 187

Implicit and Indirect Measures of Prejudice and Exclusion 190

An Integrative Social-Cognitive Developmental Perspective on Social Exclusion 191

Social Experience Factors that Promote Inclusion 192

Exclusion and Prejudice 193

Summary 193

References 197

Index 223

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Author Information

Melanie Killen is Professor of Human Development, Professor of Psychology (Affiliate), and Associate Director for the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture at the University of Maryland. She is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. She is also a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award by the Provost from the University of Maryland. Her book with Dan Hart, Morality in Everyday Life: Developmental Perspectives (1995), received the outstanding book award from AERA, and her book with Sheri Levy, Intergroup
Attitudes and Relations from Childhood to Adulthood, received an Honorable Mention for the Otto Klineberg Memorial Prize from SPSSI. Her research examines the development of morality, intergroup attitudes, exclusion and inclusion, peer relationships, prejudice, culture, and how social experience is
related to social-cognitive development.

Adam Rutland is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Child Development Unit and Centre for the Study of Group Processes in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. Previously he has been a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey and been a member of Faculty at the University of Aberdeen. His research examines the development of children’s prejudice and social identities. He has conducted recent research into when and how children learn to self-present their explicit attitudes; how intergroup contact can reduce children’s prejudice; children’s exclusion of peers within groups and acculturation amongst ethnic minority children.

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“Killen and Rutland provide expert broad-ranging reviews of relevant theories, research, and interventions and conclude with an integrative framework for understanding and addressing peer exclusion."  (Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 2012)

"Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." (Choice, 1 November 2011)

"In sum, as we continue to understand and decipher the development of exclusion and inclusion in children, the framework provided by Killen and Rutland will be an unequivocal guide and impetus for a myriad of empirical studies in the human development field. After reading this impressive book, I believe the future of scholarship in this area (and our collective future) is bright and exciting!" (Human Development Journal, 2013)

This is an outstanding book. Through their masterful integration of developmental and social psychological theories and research, Killen and Rutland have made a major contribution to our understanding of children's morality, social identity, exclusion, and intergroup relationships. This very engaging book is a must-read for scholars and others interested in these important and timely topics.
—Judi Smetana, University of Rochester

This book makes important and unique contributions to the study of intergroup relations, morality, and social development.  The authors, who are distinguished scholars in this area, introduce original insights that synthesize past research and will guide research in this area for many years to come.
—John F. Dovidio, Yale University

This excellent book offers a sweeping treatment of a problem that all people either experience or fear at some time in their lives: social exclusion. The authors examine the problem from a developmental perspective, offering a comprehensive account of the roots, effects, and broader significance of social exclusion during childhood. This original, integrative account now stands as the definitive work on this familiar dimension of children's social development.
— William Damon, Stanford University

Killen and Rutland have done an extraordinary job illuminating a critical phenomenon: when and why children exclude other children. This topic has never been more important, and their book is scholarly, fascinating, wise, and extremely valuable. It is a must-read for everyone interested in understanding how to work toward a just society.
—Carol Dweck, Stanford University

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