Ethnic-Racial Socialization in Early Childhood: The Implications of Color-Consciousness and Colorblindness for Prejudice Development

  • Flora FaragoEmail author
  • Kimberly Leah Davidson
  • Christy M. Byrd


This chapter outlines how early childhood teachers can bring children into conversations surrounding race and racism by drawing on literature on how parents of color discuss these topics. Although educators’ practices surrounding race and racism remain largely unexplored, decades of developmental psychological research indicate that parents of color engage in ethnic-racial socialization practices that are beneficial for children (Hughes et al., 2006). The established dimensions of parental ethnic-racial socialization include (1) cultural socialization, or teaching children about their ethnic heritage and instilling ethnic pride; (2) preparation for bias, or teaching children about racism and preparing them to face discrimination; (3) promotion of mistrust, or warning children about the need to distance themselves from other racial groups; and (4) egalitarianism, or emphasizing the similarities between and equality of all races (Hughes et al. 2006). One consideration to take into account from a developmental perspective is that children’s level of cognitive development impacts how they interpret messages about race. This chapter draws a link between parental ethnic-racial socialization and extends this body of work to school settings, with a focus on teachers. The ideologies of colorblindness and color-consciousness are discussed throughout.


Anti-bias Bias Colorblindness Color-consciousness Discrimination Diversity Ethnic-racial socialization Early childhood Intervention Prejudice Preschool Race Racism Stereotypes Teachers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flora Farago
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kimberly Leah Davidson
    • 2
  • Christy M. Byrd
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Human Sciences, Human Development and Family StudiesStephen F. Austin State UniversityNacogdochesUSA
  2. 2.Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantUSA
  3. 3.North Carolina State University, Teacher Education and Learning SciencesRaleighUSA

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