Book Reviews -- Preventing Prejudice: A Guide for Counselors and Educators (Multicultural Aspects of Counseling Series: Volume 2) by Joseph G. Ponterotto and Paul B. Pederson

Article excerpt

Ponterotto, Joseph G., and Pederson, Paul B. (1993). Preventing Prejudice: A Guide for Counselors and Educators. (Multicultural Aspects of Counseling Series: Volume 2). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. 238 pp. Cloth ISBN 8033-5284-8, price $29.95; paper ISBN 8039-5285-6, price $14.95.

In Preventing Prejudice, Ponterotto and Pederson acknowledge that prejudice and racism are a part of the American culture. Thus, educators and counselors must identify and launch efforts to overcome impediments to working effectively with ethnically and racially diverse individuals. The book presents helping professionals with models and strategies for improving interracial and interethnic relations, pragmatically emphasizing the need for multicultural awareness programs that are preventive, developmental, and long term. The authors adopt an interdisciplinary approach to their work by drawing upon psychology (social, developmental, cross-cultural, and counseling), sociology, and education. The principal focus is on primary prevention; however, the book often transcends all levels of prevention.

Part I, Understanding Prejudice and Racism, comprises three chapters that provide the historical context for understanding subsequent chapters. Key terms are defined, and data on the prevalence of prejudice and racism in all facets of society (including children in kindergarten through grade 12 and students on college campuses) are presented. Issues surrounding the development and manifestation of prejudice are also given attention. The authors make two important, but often overlooked, points: (a) no group has a monopoly on prejudice--many individuals are the victims or perpetuators of racism, sexism, ageism, and ethnocentrism; and (b) prejudice comes in many forms--overt, covert, conscious, unconscious, individual, and institutional. In addition, Ponterotto and Pederson distinguish between old-fashioned racism and modern racism, adding that modern racism has taken on a new form in contemporary America.

Part II, Racial/Ethnic Identity Development, consists of two chapters that focus on racial identity development among minority groups (Asian American, African American, and Hispanic American) and Caucasian Americans. Both chapters comprehensively examine the relationship of racial identity to mental health issues, the development of racism, and prejudice prevention.

Part III, Race Awareness Strategies for the School and Community, consists of four chapters that present pragmatic applications of prejudice prevention programs in school, college, and community settings. The chapters answer the important question, "What specific roles and strategies can counselors and educators adopt in combatting prejudice?" These roles include fostering racial/ethnic identity, facilitating interracial or intergroup contact, promoting multicultural and nonsexist education and counseling, and confronting and transforming negative racial attitudes. …