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“Racism handed down by parents”

31 October 2007

BRUSSELS – The apple does not fall far from the tree, certainly when it comes to racism. This has emerged from the doctoral thesis of Jessy Siongers.

“If parents take a position that supports democracy and tolerance, there is a good chance their teenagers will do the same,” says the sociologist from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, who received her doctorate last Friday for her research on how attitudes and preferences get passed on from parents to children.

In 2000 Siongers interviewed 6,974 students in the fourth and sixth year of secondary school and their parents on their attitudes towards people of ethnic background, crime, democracy and individualism. “The answers indicated that children often take the same position as their parents. There were very strong similarities in attitude especially when it comes to topics like tolerance towards ethnic minorities and how to tackle crime,” the researcher said.

“Parents and their teenage children do not mirror each other exactly, but parents do put an indelible stamp on their children’s ideas and preferences,” she concluded.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news