Exploring Critical Race Theory in Family Science: Introduction & Overview

/ NCFR Report, Fall 2021

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Critical race theory (CRT) made headlines earlier this year amidst ongoing racism and violence toward People of Color. Most notably, the idea of K-12 public schools adopting CRT teachings within their curricula created a lot of confusion and division within U.S. communities—so much so that some U.S. states introduced legislation to regulate the use of CRT in their curricula.

Since many family scholars utilize CRT in their research, it seemed a perfect opportunity to invite NCFR members to share their CRT knowledge and expertise with each other and the general public.

Kristal S. Johnson opens this series of articles with an overview and analysis of CRT – what it is and how to apply it to family research. Mellissa S. Gordon expands further on this opening by providing key tenets and expansions of the theory.  In the next article, Mellissa S. Gordon and Paula Salvador provide practical examples of applying CRT in Family Science, such as redefining what could be considered positive parenting. Michael G. Curtis and Joshua L. Boe explain how CRT integrates with quantitative research methods in Family Science. Finally, Joslyn Armstrong and Jasmine Armstrong conclude this section by examining the process of journal manuscript acceptance pertaining to racial and ethnic minority participants.

The purpose of these articles, combined with this issue’s Family Focus on Dismantling Racism, is to help you in your work to recognize and understand where matters of race and racism have played a role in systems of oppression.