Critical Race Theory
Shelly P. Harrell & Ani Pezeshkian
Critical race theory (CRT), initially created as a body of legal theory, is an organizing framework useful in understanding human behavior and social processes relevant to racial group categorizations and racial stratification. Critical race theory examines the oppressive dynamics of society to inform individual, group, and social transformation. Rather than embracing a colorblind perspective, CRT places race at the center of the analysis and provides a critical perspective on how racial stratification continues to influence the lives of racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. In this context, color-blindness refers to the minimization or denial of a substantive role for race in the understanding of life outcomes for different racial groups. Critical race theory provides a framework consistent with multicultural psychology and is useful in the conceptualization and practice of counseling and psychotherapy in cross-cultural contexts. Mental health professionals working in cross-cultural contexts can use CRT to facilitate a deeper understanding ...