chapter  17
28 Pages

Discrimination, Culture, or Capital? The Challenges of Underconceptualizing Race in Educational Research


Concerns about racial inequity are central to conversations about the role of education in promoting social justice as well as in promoting more just educational outcomes and experiences. In this chapter we examine how race is typically deployed in educational research and raise a number of concerns about its underconceptualization in the literature. Specifi cally, at the same time that race serves as a commonplace marker for deciphering group-based distinctions in school experience, it has been undertheorized as a social construct (Lynn & Adams, 2002; Pollock, 2004). As we will elaborate upon below, our failure to attend to race with greater conceptual (and by implication methodological) precision, impinges upon our ability to develop more exact interpretations of how and why students fare in school as they do.