Critical Race Theory Meets Social Science

Posted: 5 Nov 2014  

Devon W. Carbado

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Daria Roithmayr

USC Gould School of Law

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

Social science research offers critical race theory (CRT) scholars a useful methodology to advance core CRT claims. Among other things, social science can provide CRT with data and theoretical frameworks to support key empirical claims. Social psychology and sociology in particular can help to explain how race constructs key aspects of social experience - for example, the role of race in suspicion of African Americans as potentially criminal and the use of excessive force by law enforcement. At the same time, a collaboration between CRT and social science risks undermining CRT critiques of objectivity and neutrality and potentially limits the theory's ability to combat structural forms of racial inequality. CRT scholars can mitigate these risks by choosing social science methods carefully and by recognizing that social science is only one among several modes of knowledge production.

Suggested Citation

Carbado, Devon W. and Roithmayr, Daria, Critical Race Theory Meets Social Science (November 2014). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 10, pp. 149-167, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519035 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-110413-030928

Devon W. Carbado (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-825-3365 (Phone)
310-825-6023 (Fax)

Daria Roithmayr

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071
United States
213-740-6228 (Phone)

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