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Home > Academics > Undergraduate > Ethnic Studies >
Ethnic Studies
Course Description

Ethnic Studies 190
Research Methods with Communities of Color: Research Justice and Participatory Knowledge


Required Text
Winddance Twine, France and Warren, Jonathon (2000) Racing Research, Researching Race, NYU Press. Additional readings on electronic reserve.

Course Description
This course will equip students with the skills and strategies for social research into issues of race and ethnicity.  It will also enable students to engage with ethical considerations and interrogate the historical and contemporary impact of research on communities of color. In so doing, we will examine anti-oppressive methodologies and explore the possibility of developing research agendas that empower the subjects of our research, and that break down the barriers between expert and community, researcher and researched.

The course uses a “research justice” framework in which the researcher becomes an agent of social change carrying out research with, rather than on communities. Research justice, or “research by and for the 99%,” promotes the use of grassroots research to challenge dominant narratives, tell untold stories and make the case for social change. Students will become familiar with methodologies from the margins – methodologies developed by oppressed communities that challenge the racialized and gendered inequalities underlying the production and dissemination of knowledge. Students will learn to deploy reflexivity in the research process, as a way of examining the impact of the researcher’s social location on relationships in the field. In addition to reading Ethnic Studies texts, we will draw on insights from Critical White Studies, Disability Studies and Women’s Studies and examine the intersections between race, nation, gender, sexuality and (dis)ability. We will examine the histories, strengths and challenges of Indigenous methodologies, Antiracist Feminist Research and Participatory Action Research. We will also explore questions that arise when we utilize interviews, focus groups, participant observation and arts-based methods in the context of community-based, anti-oppressive research. During the course, students will have the opportunity to design their own community-based research project.

Required for: Ethnic Studies majors. Not required if you have already taken ETHS 091.
Meets the Multicultural and Written Communication General Education Requirements.

Class attendance and participation:  5%
Midterm examination: 25%
Research Question and Bibliography 10%
Literature Review  10%
Paper proposal  20%
Human Subjects Protocol
Final paper:  20%

Course offered Fall 2015

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Last Updated: 6/22/17