Here is your weekly research brief with some of the latest research in the field of race and racism. As always, I note which pieces are freely available on the web, or “open access” with (OA), and those behind a paywall with (locked).
- Metzl, Jonathan M., and Dorothy E. Roberts. “Structural Competency Meets Structural Racism: Race, Politics, and the Structure of Medical Knowledge.” Virtual Mentor. September 2014, Volume 16, Number 9: 674-690. (OA) First paragraph: Physicians in the United States have long been trained to assess race and ethnicity in the context of clinical interactions. Medical students learn to identify how their patients’ “demographic and cultural factors” influence their health behaviors. Interns and residents receive “cultural competency” training to help them communicate with persons of differing “ethnic” backgrounds. And clinicians are taught to observe the races of their patients and to dictate these observations into medical records—“Mr. Smith is a 45-year-old African American man”—as a matter of course.
- Brennen, Bonnie, and Rick Brown. “Persecuting Alex Rodriguez: Race, money and the ethics of reporting the performance-enhancing drug scandal.” Journalism Studies (2014): 1-18. (locked) This qualitative textual analysis considers the US press coverage of Alex Rodriguez for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. It evaluates nearly 500 newspaper, magazine and broadcast reports from 2007 to 2014 on Rodriguez, as well as reader and journalistic responses, and finds issues of overt and inferential racism, stereotyping and symbolic impurity, and a crude emphasis on money in the coverage. This research considers the ethics of the press coverage through a framework of Critical Race Theory and suggests an approach rooted in communitarian ethics to foster greater social justice and balance in sports media coverage.
- Da Costa, Alexandre Emboaba. “Training educators in anti-racism and pluriculturalismo: recent experiences from Brazil.” Race Ethnicity and Education (2014): 1-23. (locked) This article examines educator participation in training initiatives based on Brazilian federal education legislation (Law 10,639 from 2003) in one city in the state of São Paulo. Law 10,639/03 represents a significant moment in the institutionalization of ethno-racial policies in Brazil over the past 15 years. It makes obligatory the teaching of African and Black Brazilian history and culture in all school subjects, and requires in-depth study of black contributions in the social, economic, and political spheres. The article first contextualizes understandings of race and racism in Brazil, followed by an elaboration of the political and epistemological underpinnings of ethno-racial educational reforms focused on Afro-descendants. The article then analyzes the contradictory processes that emerge from teacher training initiatives where the perspectives of anti-racism, multiculturalism (pluriculturalismo), racial democracy, and miscegenation intermingle and get reconfigured into understandings that have the potential to advance as well as impede critical engagement with racism and racial inequality. Rather than view teacher training initiatives as default decolonization or inevitable co-optation, this article outlines a more complex and contradictory account of state-society collaborations on educational initiatives. The article reveals the practical challenges of decolonization to argue that anti-racist activism in the educational sphere must take seriously the variable and contingent results of such political efforts in order to meet teachers where they are at while also challenging them to go beyond these limitations.
- Loza, Susana. “Hashtag Feminism,# SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other# FemFuture.” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 5” (2014). (OA) Snippet: “Is mainstream feminism destined to remain the terrain of white women? Or can the digital media praxis of women of color, their hashtag feminism and tumblr activism, their blogging and livejournaling, broaden and radically redefine the very field of feminism?”
- Moore, Darnell, and Monica J. Casper. “Love in the Time of Racism.” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 5” (2014). (OA) First paragraph: “We offer this collaborative essay as scholars, activists, friends, chosen family, and managing editors (with co-founder and sister-friend Tamura A. Lomax) of The Feminist Wire, an anti-racist, anti-imperialist, feminist digital publication launched in 2011 that now has over a million visitors annually. Following bell hooks, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and others, our work at TFW is guided by a deep, persistent commitment to love as praxis and pedagogy. Through both our collective, sometimes messy “behind the scenes” process and the work we publish, we attempt to embody this commitment—a necessary one, given that we are working at intense, highly visible, and contentious cultural intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and new media.”