Free Resources to Help Study Structural Racism

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While structural racism may be, well, structural, deconstructing and then researching the various faces of racism requires its own unique set of methodologies that are not or may only be newly familiar to many students and scholars. Drawing from the large repository of pedagogic material on the social and behavioral sciences published by SAGE and available at the SAGE Knowledge platform, here are some free-to-use video and textual resources that can help in the academic study of structural and institutional racism.

Video Resources

Prejudice & Stereotyping: Experimental Approach

In this video, Keon West, a social psychologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, looks at the question, do people judge Muslims more harshly than white non-Muslims?

Thurston Domina Discusses Inequality & Education

In this video, Thurston Domina, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina’s School of Education, discusses inequality and education, particularly how education reinforces and builds inequalities. He highlights research that has had an impact outside of the field, and describes the challenges of studying the sociology of education

Historical Social Construction of Race and Racism

In this video, Muzammil Quraishi, a criminologist at the University of Salford, explores the historical social construction of race and how it was socially constructed through the colonial period.

The New Racism in a Raceless Society

In this video, Leslie Baker-Kimmons, a sociologist at Chicago State University, examines how race continues to be a social significant component in contemporary America and how society’s attempts to ignore the social significance of race create a new form of racism.

Racial Disparities & The Prison Industrial Complex

In this video, Lee Ross, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, talks about the racial and ethnic proportions within the prison system and how those figures don’t match the numbers in the general population.

Understanding Protests using Geolocated Images and Convolutional Neural Networks

Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, discusses using geo-located images & convolutional neural networks to understand protests, including using Twitter data in research, collecting and analyzing image data and its challenges, and advice for students interested in this type of research.

The Ethnicity & Crime Debate

Dr. Muzammil Quraishi, a criminologist at University of Salford in the U.K., discusses the history and practice of recording the race/ethnicity of criminal perpetrators. He points out the significant overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system, then outlines the different theories that seek to explain this.

Disparities and the Prison Industrial Complex

Professor Lee Ross discusses racial disparities and the prison industrial complex. He highlights the theoretical underpinnings of the major critiques of race in the criminal justice system. He also traces the development of the prison industrial complex in the years since the Civil War.

Researching Racism in Schools Using Participatory Action Research

Dr. Meagan Call-Cummings presents a participatory action research project that had three aims: to uncover and understand racism in schools, to empower marginalized students, and to determine the effectiveness of participatory action research as a means to effect social change.

Written Resources

“Cricital Race Theory” from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods

As part of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods, this resource on Critical Race Theory by Tim Liao, Alan Bryman, and Michael S. Lewis-Beck details what Critical Race Theory is, and what sort of methods researchers in the discipline employ.

Exploring the Counter Stories of African American Men: Using a Hip-Hop Narrative Inquiry Approach to Qualitative Research

This study by Ashley Payne and Denise Winsor specifically looks at how concepts of institutional racism, power dynamics, and personal epistemology are expressed through rap lyrics and how it is represented through experience and expression.

Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies

This handbook by Norman Denzin, Yvonna Lincoln, and Linda Smith outlines indigenous queries and methods.

Researching Race and Ethnicity

This book by Yasmin Gunaratnam provides an innovative discussion of the methodological, epistemological and ethical challenges of doing qualitative research that is informed by questions of ‘race’, ethnicity and social difference. 

Researching Racism: A Guide Book for Academics & Professional Investigators

This book offers a one stop guide to the meaning of racism, key studies in the field, core methodologies and an agenda for research for the future. Discussing the salient aspects of race and racism in contemporary society alongside methodological and practical considerations of qualitative research in the field, Researching Racism by Rob Philburn and Muzammil Quraishi is not only an original textbook but also a crucial guide for anyone beginning their own research on racism.

Re-imagined Post-Colonial Geographies: Graduate Students Explore Spaces of Resistance in the Wake of Ferguson

Through field notes of each student’s site visits, bus-riding experience, and GIS data, Amalia Dache-Gerbino, David Aguayo, Marquise Griffin, Sarah L Hairston, Christal Hamilton, Christopher Krause, Dena Lane-Bonds & Heather Sweeney aim to provide mixed-method results on spaces of resistance and public transportation access, parts of uneven geographic developments contributing to discourses of U.S. college accessibility in St. Louis.

Policing the Police: Privatization as a Means of Oversight

In this case study, Brendan D. Dooley, a criminologist at American University in Washington, D.C., examines the experience of the Black Lives Matter movement and asks if privatizing police forces might serve its goals of reducing police violence.  

Institutionalized Racism

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, Janice Habarth, a clinical psychologist at Palo Alto University, and Denise Coquia of Palo Alto University, define institutional or institutionalized racism and offer examples of it and the its outcomes.

Internalized Racism

In this excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology, Y. Evie Garcia and Annel Esparza, psychologists at Northern Arizona University, discuss how the idea of internalized racism has expanded beyond its historical roots in the African American experience and look at ways to begin a healing process.

Symbolic Racism

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, Angie Maxwell, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas, looks at and measure the idea of symbolic racism, which she writes “unearthed notions of racial resentment—as it is sometimes called—and a denial of ongoing institutional racism.”

Racism and the Internet

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of the Internet, Nicolas J. LaLone, an information scientist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, explains how the nature of the Internet allows racist organizations to grow, details the types of racism found online, then looks at how the dissemination of online racism has evolved.

The Legacy of Police Opposition to the Civil Rights Movement for Contemporary American Policing

In this excerpt from The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing, Jonathan Simon, a criminal justice professor at the University of California-Berkeley, examines how increasingly aggressive policing and declining legitimacy of police during the civil rights era in many minority communities has a historical component that has aggravated this dynamic beyond what the structural forces of either crime or inequality might otherwise produce.

Global Protest Movements

In this extensive CQ Press piece, Bill Wanlund, freelance writer and former Foreign Service Officer, takes on the question: “Can global protest movements create change?” In doing so, he addresses several other important questions regarding the efficacy of online movements, the impact of coronavirus, etc.

Reparations for Slavery

A majority of African Americans believes the United States should make amends for the intergenerational harm caused by slavery and post-Civil War segregation, with some calling for cash payments to descendants of slaves and others favoring programs to help poor communities narrow the economic gap between blacks and whites. In this CQ Press piece, Allen Greenblatt, staff writer at Governing magazine, explores the possibilities for reparations.

Racial Conflict

In this CQ Press work, Peter Katel, awarded journalist and researcher, attempts to answer the question: “Are U.S. policies discriminatory?”

Digital Sociology in Action: A Case Study of Research on Black Twitter

In recent years, media attention has been placed on “Black Twitter,” a collective composed primarily of African Americans who have managed to effect change through the microblogging platform Twitter. This collection of users has been credited with injecting uniquely Black concerns and perspectives into the national discourse. However, Black Twitter as an entity has not been theoretically contextualized and grounded in empirical research. In this case study, Dr. Roderick Graham, sociologist and criminologist at Old Dominion University, describes how he and his colleague explored this social media phenomenon. The author emphasizes the importance of understanding the way in which Twitter was designed, its architecture, to developing insightful research, and choosing appropriate methods. The author discusses (1) process of conceptualizing theoretically important ideas and operationalizing them, (2) the considerations involved with sampling, and (3) the use hierarchical cluster analysis to draw conclusions about from Twitter data.

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