Sudhir Venkatesh

Ethnic and Racial Studies, April 2012


‘Race and reflexivity’ (Emirbayer and Desmond 2012) offers a much needed clarification of the dynamics of social science thinking on race. It is a well-written account of a problem that remains at the heart of our labours, namely the need to link the institutional production of social science and the social science of race. The article currently files at roughly 12,000 words. My primary criticism is that the authors should have written 24,000. I hope they return at a later date. I make this supplication because the article makes two bold promises, and the reader is left waiting at the altar at the end. Emirbayer and Desmond write, ‘We attempt to build upon earlier efforts [in critical race scholarship] by deepening the very meaning of scholarly reflexivity’. Second, the authors ‘develop a three-tiered typology of racial reflexivity …survey the obstacles distinctive to each level and the ways in which reflexive thinking can overcome these obstacles’ (p. 577).

View the article here:  Race to Reflexivity