CRITICAL RACE THEORY
A collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, context, group- and self-interest, and even feelings and the unconscious.
For the purposes of conducting social epidemiologic and health equity research, Ford and Harawa define it as “a two-dimensional, context-specific, social construct with an attributional dimension that describes group characteristics (e.g., culture, nativity) and a relational dimension that indexes a group's location within a social hierarchy (e.g., minority vs. majority status). This new conceptualization extends prior definitions in ways that facilitate research on ethnicization, social stratification and health inequities.
“Intersectionality is a theoretical framework that posits that multiple social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status) intersect at the micro level of individual experience to reflect multiple interlocking systems of privilege and oppression at the macro, social-structural level (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism). Public health’s commitment to social justice makes it a natural fit with intersectionality’s focus on multiple historically oppressed populations.”
PUBLIC HEALTH CRITICAL RACE PRAXIS (PHCRP)
A set of anti-racism tools for applying race consciousness and antiracism to empirical health equity research. PHCRP includes a four-stage, semi-structured research approach and a lexicon derived from legal CRT.
U.S. Office of Management & Budget minimum official Racial & Ethnic categories
- Black/African American
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
- Other race
- Not Hispanic/Latino/Spanish
Definitions that emphasize the social construction of race
RACE – “a vast group of people loosely bound together by historically contingent, socially significant elements of their morphology and/or ancestry”
STREET RACE – one’s perceived racial background in public, i.e., “at the level of the street”
SOCIALLY ASSIGNED RACE (ASCRIBED RACE) – what racial identity an individual believes others generally perceive them to hold
The product of a set of hegemonic systems through which differentiated human sub-populations, or so-called ‘races’ are established and maintained. The relative valuation of ‘races’ one to the others is fundamental to racial relations. Further, the preservation of racial relations requires that the assigned relative valuations remain more or less fixed.
Guidelines for understanding racial relations include the following:
- Races inherently exist relative to one another
- Sociopolitical factors influence what is valued or devalued about each group
- Social stratification, not race, determines race relations
"THE STATE-SANCTIONED and/or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death."
RACISM IS A SYSTEM. It is not an individual character flaw, nor a personal moral failing, nor a psychiatric illness. It is a system (consisting of structures, policies, practices, and norms) that structures opportunity and assigns value based on phenotype, or the way people look. And what are the impacts of this system? It unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities. When we talk about racism at all in this country, it is usually discussed in this context. But at the same time that the system is unfairly disadvantaging some individuals and communities, it is also unfairly advantaging other individuals and communities. This issue of white privilege is much less frequently discussed in this country. Yet even more profoundly, the system of racism undermines realization of the full potential of our whole society because of the waste of human resources.
...CONDITIONS BASED ON THE FABRICATION OF RACE...exclusions from goods and services, opportunities and privileges, rights and powers, and even social responsibilities and burdens of those defined as racially other…”
AN OPPRESSIVE SYSTEM of racial relations, justified by ideology, in which one racial group benefits from dominating another and defines itself and others through this domination.
Krieger et al. 1993
ANY SET OF BELIEFS that organic, genetically transmitted differences (whether real or imagined) between human groups are intrinsically associated with the presence or the absence of certain socially relevant abilities or characteristics, hence that such differences are a legitimate basis of invidious distinctions between groups socially defined as races.