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Race in the Schoolyard

Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities

Amanda E. Lewis

Publication Year: 2003

Could your kids be learning a fourth R at school: reading, writing, 'rithmatic, and race? Race in the Schoolyard takes us to a place most of us seldom get to see in action—our children's classrooms—and reveals the lessons about race that are communicated there. Amanda E. Lewis spent a year observing classes at three elementary schools, two multiracial urban and one white suburban. While race of course is not officially taught like multiplication and punctuation, she finds that it nonetheless insinuates itself into everyday life in schools. Lewis explains how the curriculum, both expressed and hidden, conveys many racial lessons. While teachers and other school community members verbally deny the salience of race, she illustrates how it does influence the way they understand the world, interact with each other, and teach children. This eye-opening text is important reading for educators, parents, and scholars alike.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

Insanity, in one disguise or another, has always been with us, an occasional unbidden guest in life’s masquerade. In recent centuries, however, it has appeared in previously unseen masks and in much greater numbers. For many of those afflicted, insanity not only ruins festivities, it destroys life itself....

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Our analysis of historical material has been possible only because of the kind assistance of many people. Foremost among those to whom we are indebted are Herb, Kirk, and Andrew MacDonald, Faith Dickerson, Christine Miller, Hugh...

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1. Introduction: Why Is the Epidemic Important?

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pp. 1-5

Some epidemics are obvious. In September 1918, 12,000 Americans died. The following month, 195,000 died. Four months later, the death toll had reached 675,000. Coffins were no longer available, so steam shovels dug mass graves. People hid in their homes, terrified, reluctant to go...

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2. The Birth of Bedlam: Insanity Prior to 1700

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pp. 6-22

Occasional insanity as it existed for thousands of years had certain characteristics consistent with its medical and neurological origins. It might affect adults of any age, it was usually of brief duration, and the...

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3. The “English Malady” Appears: England, 1700-1800

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pp. 23-42

The eighteenth century in England opened with Queen Anne’s ascension to the throne. Tragically, she had lost all fifteen of her children—ten by miscarriage or stillbirth, four in infancy, and one at age eleven. The century closed with King George III on the throne. In 1783 he...

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4. “The Clap of Tortured Hands”: England 1800-1850

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pp. 43-72

Nineteenth-century England was marked with increasing glory and increasing insanity. The people of Shakespeare’s “scepter’d isle,” en route to their coronation as God’s elite, were increasingly delayed by masses...

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5. “A Mania for Madness”: England, 1850-1890

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pp. 73-102

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a wondrous event. It was held in London’s Hyde Park in the Crystal Palace, designed and built especially for the occasion, an immense glass-and-iron structure covering twenty-one acres...

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6. “A Great and Progressive Evil”: England, 1890-1990

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pp. 103-123

By the closing years of the nineteenth century, England had become the dominant world power. It had assumed, in Kipling’s phrase, “the white man’s burden,” and had overrun, annexed, or purchased one-quarter of the earth’s land surface. England controlled territory from the....

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7. The Road to Grangegorman: Ireland, 1700-1990

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pp. 124-160

In 1731 Jonathan Swift announced his intention to leave money in his will for the establishment of an insane asylum in Dublin. In Swiftian fashion, he memorialized his bequest with these lines in his “Verses on the Death...

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8. “A Constantly Increasing Multitude”: Atlantic Canada, 1700-1990

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pp. 161-192

There is virtually no mention of insanity in accounts of Canadian settlement prior to the eighteenth century. Within the seventy-five volumes of the Relations, published annually by the seventeenth- century Jesuit missionaries, for example, there are descriptions of epilepsy and other...

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9. “The Disease Whose Frequency Has Become Alarming”: The United States, 1700-1840

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pp. 193-214

As in Mother England, insanity in the American colonies existed but did not appear to be common in the seventeenth century. “It is unlikely,” Richard Shryock notes, “that the settlers of the English colonies...

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10. An Apostle for Asylums: The United States, 1840–1860

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pp. 215-243

By 1840, the United States was exhibiting many problems of an adolescent nation. Unemployment was high, with lost confidence in the currency following the Panic of 1837. Abolitionists clashed increasingly regularly with pro-slavery supporters as the rhetoric on both sides....

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11. “A Very Startling Increase”: The United States, 1860–1890

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pp. 244-275

Wars are never kind to individuals with insanity, and the Civil War was no exception. Following closely upon the financial panic of 1857, the war depleted state treasuries, so that asylums lacked basic supplies....

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12. “The Apocalyptic Beast”: The United States, 1890-1990

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pp. 276-299

By 1890 the asylum superintendents were exhausted by the continuing increase of insanity. The hope and therapeutic optimism of their earlier years had been suffused by relentless waves of patients and by criticism....

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13. Why Is the Epidemic Forgotten?: The Politicalization of Insanity

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pp. 300-313

Living amid an ongoing epidemic that nobody notices is surreal. It is like viewing a mighty river that has risen slowly over two centuries, imperceptibly claiming the surrounding land, millimeter by millimeter. The people who once lived on the land have either died or moved away, and...

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14. Possible Causes of Epidemic Insanity

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pp. 314-333

The foregoing analysis of insanity rates in England, Ireland, Canada, and the United States suggests that the prevalence of insanity, as a rate per population, increased at least sevenfold between the mid–eighteenth and the mid–twentieth centuries; in Ireland and the United...

Appendix A: What Is Insanity?

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pp. 335-338

Appendix B: The Baseline Rate of Insanity

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pp. 339-344

Appendix C: Tables of Insanity Rates

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pp. 345-350

Notes

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pp. 351-390

Selected References

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pp. 391-396

Index

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pp. 397-416

About the Authors

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pp. 417-


E-ISBN-13: 9780813547039
E-ISBN-10: 0813547032
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813532240
Print-ISBN-10: 0813532248

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Series in Childhood Studies
Series Editor Byline: Myra Bluebond-Langner

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Subject Headings

  • Discrimination in education -- United States.
  • Students -- United States -- Social conditions -- 21st century.
  • United States -- Race relations.
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