Fictional power imbalances help children grasp systemic injustices
Research suggests that children readily accept and perpetuate group inequalities from a young age, quickly becoming active participants in their maintenance. In adults that buy into systematic inequalities, education on policies, procedures, or political discourses upholding said injustices has been shown to encourage people to fight against them, as well as predict lower levels of prejudice towards low-status groups.
For kids, however, wading into the mechanics of the system is typically beyond their capabilities and interest, potentially leaving blossoming unjust beliefs unchallenged. However, new research described in PNAS reveals that there are effective ways to help children learn about power systems and the inequalities they cause, and that certain types of explanation increase their desire to rectify injustices.