In addition to directing Partners in Equity & Inclusion (diversity & inclusion climate assessment, training, consulting) I am also a researcher studying racial and other inequalities in health care. Given the atrocities around us (and, of course, the unbearable cesspool of the Trump Campaign) it’s been hard to just continue on with the same research approach. I have been thinking a lot about how our research questions and thus study designs are formed – and about what we measure – and how our this relates to a white racial frame. (Also, see recent editorial by PEI consultant/speaker Rachel Hardeman and colleages).
I am a white person studying inequalities using a research tradition and framework developed by primarily white researchers. How could this not affect my research questions, design, measures, interpretation of data? My current research on disparities in health care is driven by the fundamental research question: “What factors cause care to be worse for people of color than whites? What causes poorer care?” vs “What factors promote and maintain white advantage in quality of health care (compared to other groups)?
I wonder how focusing on the factors that promote & maintain white advantage would change my design, measures, interpretation? I wonder how our conceptualization of the issues, research questions and processes would be different if they emerged from a long tradition of thought and inquiry developed over decades by people of color?