Epistemological Considerations in Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods
Race and ethnic relations is a subfield that has been shaped greatly by political expediency and cultural ideologies. As a result, little systematic thought has been invested in epistemological questions concerning methodologies employed in race and ethnicity research. When epistemology has been explored it has usually been through the lenses of the mundane logical positivism that has grounded most race and ethnic relations research in American and European social sciences. The historic race relations literature in the social sciences and human identities is dominated by homogeneous examinations of people of color. Issues of ethics and human values are central to any research enterprise. They are especially sensitive when it comes to status-related research. The chapter examines the production of race and ethnicity research in disciplines originating in race-centered society from the critical cultural studies perspective; it becomes apparent that much of our thinking about race and ethnicity is convoluted.