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Race and Social Problems

, Volume 4, Issue 3–4, pp 133–143 | Cite as

Racialization in Public and Private: Memories of First Racial Experiences

  • Shannon K. CarterEmail author
  • Leslie H. Picca
  • Brittany N. Murray
Article

Abstract

Research suggests retention of childhood memories into adulthood requires such memories to hold a certain amount of importance. Therefore, initial racial memories likely play a role in one’s racialization process, or formulation of an understanding of race. This study uses data from 49 in-depth interviews with white undergraduate students on memories of their first experiences of race. Data generally fell into the categories of private and public racialization. Private racialization included accounts of events that took place at home, primarily consisting of racist joking, derogatory comments, and family storytelling. Public racialization consisted of events that took place outside the home, most commonly at school. Data also revealed interactions between private and public realms, where accommodations were made in private to control, minimize or restrict interracial contact in public.

Keywords

Race Racialization Whiteness Child socialization Race identity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon K. Carter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leslie H. Picca
    • 2
  • Brittany N. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.University of DaytonDaytonUSA

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