Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and National Groups  book cover
1st Edition

Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and National Groups

ISBN 9780415646512
Published January 11, 2013 by Psychology Press
352 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides a state-of-the-art account of how people's subjective sense of national identity, and attitudes towards countries and national groups, develop through the course of childhood and adolescence. It offers a comprehensive review of the research which has been conducted into:

. children's understanding of nations as geographical territories and as political, historical and cultural communities

. children's knowledge, beliefs and feelings about the people who belong to different national groups

. children's attitudes towards, and emotional attachment to, their own country and national group.

The authors elaborate on the developmental patterns that have been found to emerge, contextualized by a consideration and evaluation of the theoretical frameworks which can be used to explain these patterns.

Written by the leading international authority in this field, and reporting (in collaboration with his colleagues) the findings from two major transnational research projects, this book will be invaluable to postgraduate students and researchers working in this field. The book will also be of great benefit to undergraduate students taking courses in Developmental Psychology, the Sociology of Childhood, and Education.

Table of Contents

Preface. On Children, Nations and National Groups. Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Countries Construed as Geographical Territories. Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about the State Construed as an Organised Political Community. Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and States Construed as Historical and Cultural Communities. Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about the People who Belong to Different National and State Groups. The Development of Children's Subjective Identification with their own Nation and State. Theoretical Accounts of How Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and National Groups Develop. References. Index.

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Martyn Barrett is Professor of Psychology at the University of Surrey. He has worked extensively on the development of language and on children's drawings. More recently he has been working on national and ethnic enculturation in childhood and adolescence, the development of prejudice and stereotyping in children and adolescents, and acculturation processes in ethnic minority individuals.


'This is a very impressive monograph bearing every prospect of becoming a landmark in its field. It combines an exceptionally scholarly review of the historical and current literature on children and national identity with an account of the findings of a unique and ambitious series of multi-context, international studies. The results are fascinating and are interpreted meticulously. This is a terrific book, which I thoroughly enjoyed and know that I'll be dipping back into repeatedly.' - Kevin Durkin, Department of Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

'The field has all too little ambitious cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary research like this. One really gets a sense here of the diversity and complexity of children's national identifications and inter-nation attitudes. It will certainly serve as the point of departure for many investigations in the future, and researchers and students will find much to their benefit in these pages.' - Rupert Brown, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Sussex, UK

"In the current era of globalization, intense international conflict, and the redrawing of political boundaries, a book on how children develop a national identity is welcome... Every developmental psychologist and every student of developmental psychology should read Chapter 7 of this book... Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings About Nations and National Groups provides a thorough review of the literature in this important area." - Judith L. Gibbons & Brien K. Ashdown, PsycCRITIQUES