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  • Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, Volume 9, Issue 1
  • April 2012, pp. 17-39


  • Lawrence A. Hirschfeld (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 07 June 2012

Racism reproduces through children. Racial bias is acquired early, and like many early-acquired predilections it is tenaciously resistant to counterevidence. Much of the institutional struggle against racism focuses on children, working to change their attitudes and judgments by addressing what children supposedly have come to know and believe about race. Yet much of what lay folk and educators alike imagine about children's knowledge of race and how they have come to acquire it is inaccurate. This essay is concerned to identify these inaccuracies, present evidence that challenges them, and briefly consider why they—like racialist thinking itself—are so tenaciously held and resistant to counterevidence.

Corresponding author
Professor Lawrence A. Hirschfeld, Departments of Anthropology and Psychology, New School for Social Research, 6 East 16thStreet, New York, NY 10003. E-mail:
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Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
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