Giving Them Something They can Feel: On the Strategy of Scientizing the Phenomenology of Race and Racism

Knowledge Cultures 3 (1):91-110 (2015)
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Abstract

There is an expansion of empirical research that at its core is an attempt to quantify the "feely" aspects of living in raced (and other stigmatized) bodies. This research is offered as part concession, part insistence on the reality of the "special" circumstances of living in raced bodies. While this move has the potential of making headway in debates about the character of racism and the unique nature of the harms of contemporary racism--through an analysis of stereotype threat research, microaggression research, and the reception of both discourses--I will argue that this scientization of the phenomenology of race and racism also stalls progress on the most significant challenges for the current conversation about race and racism: how to listen and how to be heard.

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Jeanine Weekes Schroer
University of Minnesota, Duluth

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