Connecticut Law Review Volume 43 - Issue 5

A Critical Race Psychology Is Not Yet Born

Critical Race Theory (CRT) challenges scholars to reveal and dismantle disciplinary conventions that constitute racial power. In this Article, we take up this challenge and consider the potential for a Critical Race Psychology. Although CRT-compatible work has drawn upon psychological scientific research to challenge disciplinary conventions in law, there has been little consideration of disciplinary conventions— including (1) a colorblind epistemology that denies the racially positioned character of scientific knowledge, and (2) an atomistic conception of racism that promotes colorblind ignorance about the ongoing significance of racism—that constitute racial power in psychological science. As steps in this direction, we outline conceptual elements of a Critical Race Psychology, including a critical approach to methodology, identity consciousness in research, and an understanding of race as an epistemological position. We then describe empirical examples of research within psychological science that attempts to identify and counteract colorblind ignorance of racism.

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