Critical Race Theory Meets Social Science
Posted: 5 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 2014
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.
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