Skip to main content

Van Ausdale, Debra 1954-

Van AUSDALE, Debra 1954-

PERSONAL: Born 1954. Education: University of Florida, Gainesville, M.A., 1992, Ph.D., 1996.

ADDRESSES: Office—Syracuse University, 302 Maxwell Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244; fax: 315-443-4597. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, assistant professor, 1995-96; Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM, instructor, 1996-97; University of Florida, lecturer, 1996-97; Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, assistant professor of sociology, 1997—.

WRITINGS:

(With Joe R. Feagin) The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2001.

Contributor to scholarly journals, including American Sociological Review and Journal of American Ethnic History.

SIDELIGHTS: After spending eleven months as a "nonsanctioning" adult observer at a day care center, sociologist Debra Van Ausdale reached a rather disturbing conclusion: three-to-five-year-old children are more race-conscious than adults like to imagine. As Van Ausdale and coauthor Joe R. Feagin demonstrate in The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, "young children routinely categorize and assess one another along racial lines," explained Mica Pollock in the American Journal of Sociology. For a long time, parents and teachers, along with many experts, have believed that pre-school children are simply too unsophisticated to understand the relation of race and power dynamics, and are even less equipped to use these distinctions. However, through anecdotal and systematic analysis, the authors reveal that children do indeed pick up on the hierarchy of race in American society, and use that knowledge to differentiate themselves, marginalize their playmates, and form playgroups based on race or ethnicity. Moreover, they are often clever enough to disguise this from disapproving adults, and both parents and teachers have reacted with surprise, and often defensiveness, to Van Ausdale's findings. In that sense, even children in day care show a surprising ability to construct their own social reality and make their own rules. Katherine Brown Rosier commented in Contemporary Sociology that "Laying bare the dynamic interactive linkages between selves and society is what the best of sociology accomplishes;" in The First R "this is done with candor, compassion, insight, and great power."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

American Journal of Sociology, November, 2001, Mica Pollock, review of The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism, p. 853.

Booklist, January 1, 2001, Vanessa Bush, review of The First R, p. 886.

Contemporary Sociology, March, 2003, Katherine Brown Rosier, review of The First R, p. 243.

Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Margaret Card-well, review of The First R, p. 886.

Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2000, review of The First R, p. 69.

online

Syracuse University Web site, www.maxwell.syr.edu/ (November 22, 2004), "Debra Van Ausdale."*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Van Ausdale, Debra 1954-." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Van Ausdale, Debra 1954-." Contemporary Authors. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/van-ausdale-debra-1954

"Van Ausdale, Debra 1954-." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved September 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/van-ausdale-debra-1954

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.