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Theory and practice in the field of race and race thinking: critical reflections for South Africa and beyond.

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Erwin, Kira.

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This article is primarily concerned with some of the dilemmas of doing research on race and race thinking in South Africa, and beyond. It examines the broader theoretical debates and concepts within the field of race and race thinking and makes an argument that as researchers we need to examine critically the rituals of research and how they interact with, solidify or challenge meanings attached to race. In particular it calls for discussion and reflection on how our current epistemologies and methodologies are busy writing future understandings of this social construct, and the limits of some of these practices on more inclusive state policies and structures. It also, ambitiously, attempts to move these macro theoretical debates into the micro context of the research process. It does this through examining how these critical reflections are played out or reshaped in the process of data collection and analysis; specifically in the way we ask questions, how we select respondents and think about the researcher's identity.


The paper on which this seminar is based is one of three graduate student projects facilitated by the ccrri and enabled by a grant received from the Maurice Webb Trust.


Race thinking., Race--South Africa.