The “foreigner”: Preschool and school children’s graphic and verbal representation

TitleThe “foreigner”: Preschool and school children’s graphic and verbal representation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRaccanello D
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies
Date Published06/2011
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2282-2011
Keywordschildren, drawings, foreigner, representation, verbal reports

Taking into account the central role recently assumed by racial/ethnic themes, we have explored the spontaneous representation of the foreigner among Italian preschool and school children (n = 122). The children produced a drawing and participated in a semi-structured interview related to meeting two newcomers, one of them a foreigner. Ability to give elements which allow to identify a person as a foreigner – related to somatic, linguistic, geographic, cultural and/or social aspects – increases with age and is associated with contact with foreign people. At a methodological level, the analysis of the verbal reports reveals a richer – and never contradictory – elaboration of the concept of foreigner with respect to the drawings.