Race and reflexivity

Mustafa Emirbayer, Matthew Desmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


It is widely recognized that our understanding of the racial order will remain forever unsatisfactory so long as we fail to turn our analytic gaze back upon ourselves, the analysts of racial domination, and inquire critically into the hidden presuppositions that shape our thought. However, for reflexivity to be employed widely in the interest of scientific truth, analysts must acknowledge that reflexive thinking entails much more than observing how one's social position (racial identity or class background, for example) affects one's scientific analyses. In this paper, we deepen the meaning of scholarly reflexivity, discussing how it can be directed at three levels of hidden presuppositions: the social, the disciplinary, and the scholastic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-599
Number of pages26
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Bourdieu
  • Race
  • philosophy of science
  • race theory
  • reflexivity
  • whiteness


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