Cover image for African-American children at church : a sociocultural perspective
African-American children at church : a sociocultural perspective
Haight, Wendy L., 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 228 pages ; 24 cm
Part I. Overview: Introduction -- The African-American church and the socialization of children's resiliency -- Research strategy -- Part II. Patterns of socialization and participation: African-Americans in Salt Lake City: a historical and social overview -- The teachers -- Adults' perspectives on spiritual socialization -- Narratives related during Sunday School -- Socialization and participation through storytelling -- Adult-child verbal conflicts -- Other contexts for socialization and participation -- Part III. Relationships of research and practice: The computer club: implications of research for practice -- Enhancing university students' understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity: implications of practice for research -- Part IV. Conclusion: Some final points.
Reading Level:
1250 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BR563.N4 H33 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



African-American Children at Church explores African-American socialization beliefs and practices, based on findings of a unique, four-year long study in a Baptist church in Salt Lake City, Utah. By combining the ethnographic approaches of anthropology with the detailed naturalistic observations of developmental psychology, Dr Haight provides a rich description of actual socialization practices along with an interpretation of what those patterns mean to the participants themselves. Based on extensive interviews with successful African-American adults involved with children, this book begins with the exploration of adults' beliefs about socialization issues focusing on the role of religion in the development of resilience. Drawing from naturalistic observations of adult-child interaction, the book then describes actual socialization contexts and practices that help to nurture competencies in African-American children. The text focuses on Sunday School and includes narrative practices and patterns of adult-child conflict and play.

Author Notes

Wendy L. Haight is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Haight (social work, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) provides a microscopic description of the socialization beliefs and practices of African American adults and of children's experiences and development within a religious community. Her book, based on ethnographic research, adopts sociocultural and psychological perspectives to establish the significance of children's participation in churches. The author describes characteristics and roles of Sunday School teachers and their relationships with the children, narrative practices related to biblical stories and personal experiences, children's perspectives and reactions, and activities that support children's socialization. Haight emphasizes the relationship between research and practice and demonstrates how this study was instrumental in creating the "Computer Club," an intervention designed to support children's development and educational achievement. The book focuses on storytelling as a deliberate educational device, stresses the need for multicultural education with reference to cross-race helping relationships, and emphasizes the importance of integration of academic course work and community service. Haight argues that spiritual socialization as a protective factor would be useful for the development of all children, and that such opportunities should be available through public schools and social service institutions. An important contribution to a better understanding of children's religious experience, and to the fields of human development, education, and social work. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. A. Chekki emeritus, University of Winnipeg

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Part 1. Overview
1 Introductionp. 3
2 The African-American Church and the Socialization of Children's Resiliencyp. 19
3 Research Strategyp. 32
Part 2. Patterns of Socialization and Participation
4 African-Americans in Salt Lake City: A Historical and Social Overviewp. 51
5 The Teachersp. 59
6 Adults' Perspectives in Spiritual Socializationp. 69
7 Narratives Related during Sunday Schoolp. 86
8 Socialization and Participation through Storytellingp. 105
9 Adult-Child Verbal Conflictsp. 129
10 Other Contexts for Socialization and Participationp. 144
Part 3. Relationships of Research and Practice
11 The Computer Club: Implications of Research for Practicep. 165
12 Enhancing University Students' Understanding and Appreciation of Cultural Diversity: Implications of Practice for Researchp. 172
Part 4. Conclusion
13 Some Final Pointsp. 195
Referencesp. 205
Indexp. 219