Resources on Structural Racism from Social Science Space and Beyond

Structural Racism & Inequality

Resources from Social Science Space and Beyond

  • The very roots of social and behavioral science lie in examinations of inequality and social ills, and efforts drawn from research and theory to ameliorate these wicked problems. This inquiry has and continues to offer some of this scholarship’s highest highs (and has at times provided some of its lowest lows), with work on racism, ‘otherness,’ inequality, and structural failures in societies commanding scholarly attention. 
  • Here at Social Science Space, SAGE Publishing’s community site, we aim to hold up a mirror, and a microphone, to the social and behavioral science community, curating its insights, understanding its infrastructure, and logging its aspirations and frustrations.
  • The following articles related to structural racism and institutional violence have appeared at Social Science Space or are recommended by us. They have been written by the members of the community itself – social and behavioral scientists and their scholarly organizations.


How have the building blocks of society  family, school, government and industry — created or co-opted discriminatory ideals and woven them into everyday life? These articles look at how social and behavioral research has identified the underlying issues and suggested ways forward for systems, governments and policing.

Decolonize this place sign

A 12-Step Program for Decolonizing the University: Archived Webinar

In this free one-hour webinar, public sociologist Rodney Coates, professor of global and intercultural studies and coordinator for Black World Studies at Miami University, Ohio, will outline his 12 steps for accomplishing decolonization on the university.


The Price of ‘Paying Your Debt to Society’ Extends Well Beyond Incarceration

here’s a fact Cynthia Golembeski learned while researching criminal justice reform and teaching college classes in prisons: the reason the transition to life outside the corrections system is so hard is that there are more than 44,000 indirect consequences of a criminal conviction.


Article Collection Examines How to Prevent Police Killings

The recent police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have given new urgency to the seemingly intractable issue of fatal policy violence, and we offer the articles in the volume to inform the actions of those who work for a less-deadly future.



Seemingly permanent injustice comes to be the status quo and improvement as a result comes at a glacial pace. But individual incidents, from murders caught on cellphones to conceptual breakthroughs debuting in courtrooms, can catalyze change. What does social and behavioral science say or suggest as the first draft of history is laid down? 

Riots Are Not Just Mindless Violence

Social psychology teaches us that when people riot, their collective behavior is never mindless. It may often be criminal, but it is structured and coherent with meaning and conscious intent. To address the causes of such violence, we need to understand this.


Erica Chenoweth on Nonviolent Resistance

You and a body of like-minded people want to reform a wretched regime, or perhaps just break away from it and create an independent state. Are you more likely to achieve your goals by a campaign of bombings, assassinations and riots, or by mass protests which are avowedly peaceful? Your first step should be to schedule a sit-down with Erica Chenoweth, who has been studying that question since 2006.


Stephen Reicher on Crowd Psychology

“In a sense, you could summarize the literature: ‘Groups are bad for you, groups take moral individuals and they turn them into immoral idiots.’ I have been trying to contest that notion,” social psychologist Stephen Reicher says in this Social Science Bites podcast, “[and] also to explain how that notion comes about.”



Experimental inquiry and research is the atomic unit from which all science emerges. These articles share specific findings and research outcomes about human beings and societies that inform our understanding of racism, brutality and inequality. 

Gurminder K. Bhambra on Postcolonial Social Science

In this Social Science Bites podcast, Gurminder K. Bhambra discusses with interviewer David Edmonds why we should speak about the Haitian revolution in the same breath as the contemporaneous American and French revolutions, how former empires conveniently forget the contributions of their colonies now that those empires have downgraded to mere ‘nations,’ and what lessons we should draw from the current iconoclastic impulse toward imperial statuary.

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Elementary school teacher

The Added Value of Latinx and Black Teachers

As the U.S. Congress debates the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a new paper in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences urges lawmakers to focus on provisions aimed at increasing the numbers of black and Latinx teachers.

Resume and race

Can Academic Research be a Force for Good?

The greatest value of research is the positive impact it has on society. In this first blog post from a series looking at seminal academic articles from the SAGE Inspire collection, the editor of ‘Administrative Science Quarterly’ talks about a key 2016 piece on ‘whitening résumés.’



In the end, the community is people, and those people participate in society as citizens, suffering injustices themselves (or perhaps causing them) as they push forward. Hear their stories and cris de cœur

Marni Brown quote

The Importance of Cultural and Social Awareness in Building LGBTQI Families

Marni Brown found herself pondering, “Why does race matter in this selection process and why do lesbians, in general, want their offspring to look like them? Is the desire for our children to look like us actuality a cover-up for racially driven decisions that perpetuate inequality in already marginalized communities?”

John Lewis and Martin Luther king in 1963 march

What Kind of Moment Are We In?

Are we on the cusp of a vibrant social movement that will produce major transformations in our practices and policies? Or are we fated to see the communal expressions of grief and calls for change dissolve into contentious policy debates that may result in relatively modest reforms unequal to the fervent hopes now spinning in the streets?


Why We Need Experiential Scholarship to Better Understand Racial Inequality

It wasn’t until I started doing a degree in gender studies that I was told it was OK to use […]


Resources from SAGE Publishing

Drawing from the large repository of pedagogic material on the social and behavioral sciences published by parent of Social Science Space SAGE and available at the SAGE Knowledge platform, here are some free-to-use video and textual resources that can help in the academic study of structural and institutional racism. We also offer a microsite of materials from SAGE-published journals.

Free webinar: Having conversations about race in the classroom

Professor of criminal justice Stephanie A. Jirard offers suggestions on how to approach the topic of race in the classroom in ways that facilitate critical thinking, social justice, and change.

Prejudice & Stereotyping: Experimental Approach

Keon West, a social psychologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, looks at the question, do people judge Muslims more harshly than white non-Muslims?

Thurston Domina Discusses Inequality & Education

Thurston Domina, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina’s School of Education, discusses inequality and education, particularly how education reinforces and builds inequalities. He highlights research that has had an impact outside of the field, and describes the challenges of studying the sociology of education

Historical Social Construction of Race and Racism

Muzammil Quraishi, a criminologist at the University of Salford, explores the historical social construction of race and how it was socially constructed through the colonial period.

The New Racism in a Raceless Society

Leslie Baker-Kimmons, a sociologist at Chicago State University, examines how race continues to be a social significant component in contemporary America and how society’s attempts to ignore the social significance of race create a new form of racism.

Racial Disparities & The Prison Industrial Complex

Lee Ross, a criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida, talks about the racial and ethnic proportions within the prison system and how those figures don’t match the numbers in the general population.

Understanding Protests using Geolocated Images and Convolutional Neural Networks

Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, PhD, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, discusses using geo-located images & convolutional neural networks to understand protests, including using Twitter data in research, collecting and analyzing image data and its challenges, and advice for students interested in this type of research.

The Ethnicity & Crime Debate

Muzammil Quraishi, a criminologist at University of Salford in the U.K., discusses the history and practice of recording the race/ethnicity of criminal perpetrators. He points out the significant overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system, then outlines the different theories that seek to explain this.

Researching Racism in Schools Using Participatory Action Research

Meagan Call-Cummings presents a participatory action research project that had three aims: to uncover and understand racism in schools, to empower marginalized students, and to determine the effectiveness of participatory action research as a means to effect social change.

Policing the Police: Privatization as a Means of Oversight

In this case study, Brendan D. Dooley, a criminologist at American University in Washington, D.C., examines the experience of the Black Lives Matter movement and asks if privatizing police forces might serve its goals of reducing police violence.

Institutionalized Racism

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical PsychologyJanice Habarth, a clinical psychologist at Palo Alto University, and Denise Coquia of Palo Alto University, define institutional or institutionalized racism and offer examples of it and the its outcomes.

Internalized Racism

In this excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Multicultural PsychologyY. Evie Garcia and Annel Esparza, psychologists at Northern Arizona University, discuss how the idea of internalized racism has expanded beyond its historical roots in the African American experience and look at ways to begin a healing process.

Symbolic Racism

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Political BehaviorAngie Maxwell, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas, looks at and measure the idea of symbolic racism, which she writes “unearthed notions of racial resentment—as it is sometimes called—and a denial of ongoing institutional racism.”

Racism and the Internet

In this excerpt from The SAGE Encyclopedia of the InternetNicolas J. LaLone, an information scientist at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, explains how the nature of the Internet allows racist organizations to grow, details the types of racism found online, then looks at how the dissemination of online racism has evolved.

The Legacy of Police Opposition to the Civil Rights Movement for Contemporary American Policing

In this excerpt from The SAGE Handbook of Global PolicingJonathan Simon, a criminal justice professor at the University of California-Berkeley, examines how increasingly aggressive policing and declining legitimacy of police during the civil rights era in many minority communities has a historical component that has aggravated this dynamic beyond what the structural forces of either crime or inequality might otherwise produce.

“Cricital Race Theory” from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods

As part of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods, this resource on Critical Race Theory by Tim LiaoAlan Bryman, and Michael S. Lewis-Beck details what Critical Race Theory is, and what sort of methods researchers in the discipline employ.

Exploring the Counter Stories of African American Men: Using a Hip-Hop Narrative Inquiry Approach to Qualitative Research

This study by Ashley Payne and Denise Winsor specifically looks at how concepts of institutional racism, power dynamics, and personal epistemology are expressed through rap lyrics and how it is represented through experience and expression.

Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies

This handbook by Norman DenzinYvonna Lincoln, and Linda Smith outlines indigenous queries and methods.

Researching Race and Ethnicity

This book by Yasmin Gunaratnam provides an innovative discussion of the methodological, epistemological and ethical challenges of doing qualitative research that is informed by questions of ‘race’, ethnicity and social difference. 

Researching Racism: A Guide Book for Academics & Professional Investigators

This book offers a one stop guide to the meaning of racism, key studies in the field, core methodologies and an agenda for research for the future. Discussing the salient aspects of race and racism in contemporary society alongside methodological and practical considerations of qualitative research in the field, Researching Racism by Rob Philburn and Muzammil Quraishi is not only an original textbook but also a crucial guide for anyone beginning their own research on racism.

Re-imagined Post-Colonial Geographies: Graduate Students Explore Spaces of Resistance in the Wake of Ferguson

Through field notes of each student’s site visits, bus-riding experience, and GIS data, Amalia Dache-GerbinoDavid AguayoMarquise GriffinSarah L HairstonChristal Hamilton, Christopher Krause, Dena Lane-Bonds and Heather Sweeney aim to provide mixed-method results on spaces of resistance and public transportation access, parts of uneven geographic developments contributing to discourses of U.S. college accessibility in St. Louis.

Global Protest Movements

In this extensive CQ Press piece, Bill Wanlund, freelance writer and former Foreign Service Officer, takes on the question: “Can global protest movements create change?” In doing so, he addresses several other important questions regarding the efficacy of online movements, the impact of coronavirus, etc.

Reparations for Slavery

A majority of African Americans believes the United States should make amends for the intergenerational harm caused by slavery and post-Civil War segregation, with some calling for cash payments to descendants of slaves and others favoring programs to help poor communities narrow the economic gap between blacks and whites. In this CQ Press piece, Allen Greenblatt, staff writer at Governing magazine, explores the possibilities for reparations.

Racial Conflict

In this CQ Press work, Peter Katel, awarded journalist and researcher, attempts to answer the question: “Are U.S. policies discriminatory?”

Digital Sociology in Action: A Case Study of Research on Black Twitter

In recent years, media attention has been placed on “Black Twitter,” a collective composed primarily of African Americans who have managed to effect change through the microblogging platform Twitter. This collection of users has been credited with injecting uniquely Black concerns and perspectives into the national discourse. However, Black Twitter as an entity has not been theoretically contextualized and grounded in empirical research. In this case study, Dr. Roderick Graham, sociologist and criminologist at Old Dominion University, describes how he and his colleague explored this social media phenomenon. The author emphasizes the importance of understanding the way in which Twitter was designed, its architecture, to developing insightful research, and choosing appropriate methods. The author discusses (1) process of conceptualizing theoretically important ideas and operationalizing them, (2) the considerations involved with sampling, and (3) the use hierarchical cluster analysis to draw conclusions about from Twitter data.

Special Report on Reparations for Slavery

A majority of African Americans believes the United States should make amends for the intergenerational harm caused by slavery and post-Civil War segregation, with some calling for cash payments to descendants of slaves and others favoring programs to help poor communities narrow the economic gap between blacks and whites. This CQ Researcher special report from August 2019 explores some of the constitutional, historical and mechanical ideas surrounding the issue.

Other Resources

How We Rise 

A blog series from the Brookings Institution on policy solutions to upend structural racism and create a more equitable society for all. Contributors so far include Brookings fellows Camille BusetteMakada Henry-NickieAndre M. Perry, and Rashawn Ray.

Brown Lecture in Education Research series 

Sponsored by the American Educational Research Association, the annual lecture has since 2004 spotlighted how research can advance understanding of equality and equity in education. The lectureship commemorates the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court took into account scientific research in issuing its landmark ruling.

A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration

This downloadable PDF from Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania starts with the premise that without a deliberate effort to address structural racism, institutional racism, and unrecognized bias, data integration will inevitably reproduce and exacerbate existing harm. there, the toolkit offers ways to center racial equity and community voice within the context of data integration and use.

Social Science Research Council 

The SSRC hosts a number of resources for understanding and addressing racism and inequality. The Inequality Initiative is a series of programs and projects that bring innovative social science analysis to bear on our understanding of the roots and consequences of unequal participation in political, economic, and social systems across the globe. An American Dilemma for the 21st Century is a critical reassessment of and re-engagement with Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, published in 1944. American Slavery’s Legacy Across space and Time is a research initiative combines qualitative, community-grounded social science with innovative big-data methodologies to bring to light in unprecedented detail how an entire community was transformed by the United States’ legacy of slavery, while also establishing ethical norms for this type of emerging research.