Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Critical Race Theory
Despite the relatively recent appearance of critical race theory (CRT) in academia, it has become an indispensable perspective on race and racism in America. CRT launched what many race scholars now take as a commonsense view: the view that race, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is socially constructed. However, unlike some views that argue that aspects of race should be eliminated from everyday speech, thought, and scholarship, CRT maintains that race, as a socially constructed concept, functions as a means to maintain the interests of Whites who construct(ed) it and is an indispensable lens from which to view the problem of racism. According to CRT, racial inequality emerges from the social, economic, and legal differences Whites create between “races” to maintain elite White interest in labor markets and politics, and as such create the circumstances that give rise to poverty and criminality in many minority communities. In this ...