Methodological Reflections: An Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods
The study of racial and ethnic issues in the social sciences has remained deeply grounded in societal folk beliefs. Thus conceptualizations of research problems and interpretations of collected data in racial and ethnic research often have been preceded by a priori ideological and cultural biases that determine the production of 'objective knowledge'. Liberal racial idealists such as Park believed that despite Jim Crow laws and their economic and political manifestations and consequences in American cities and countryside's, Afro-Americans would eventually assimilate into the host society at least culturally. Cultural assimilation as the immeasurable outcome of the Parkian race cycle was a liberal folk belief that shaped the way sociologists viewed race relations for decades. As the civil rights movement and the race riots delegitimated the validity of the Parkian race cycle model, the resurgence of racial violence and the expansion of racist populist movements have discredited the 'declining significance of race' perspective as a scientific statement.