Concluding Summary

Critical race studies in psychology work together to dispel that idea that racism is primarily perpetuated by individual bigots and racists and instead looks toward the everyday beliefs, justifications, ideas, and behaviors that are inextricably tied to the broader sociohistorical context of systemic inequality. Drawing from several critical approaches in psychology, this perspective tries to convey that both elements of individual subjectivity and cultural context condition the persistence of racism and power more broadly. CRP utilizes identity consciousness as a tool to reveal the sociocultural and psychological resources, holding current societal structures in place that might otherwise remain invisible to the untrained eye. Instead of looking beyond race variables for more parsimonious or “basic” explanations of otherwise race-relevant outcomes, critical race perspectives challenge those approaches as one-way psychological science that reproduces power asymmetries by minimizing the central role race has played in organizing whose bodies and identities chronically make up the outgroup versus ingroup, minority versus majority, or low- status versus high-status group. In turn critical race psychologists ask to what extent do analyses that aim to move “beyond race” reflect the same implicit colorblind models and tools located within dominant group preferences that confer power to majority groups in the first place.

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