Journal article Open Access

Unmasking: The role of reflexivity in political science

Thomas, Lahoma

As a discipline, political science’s pace in tackling themes of racialization and gendering in our research methods—or the field more broadly, for that matter—has been glacial.1 As other scholars note, this is in part due to the working assumption within the discipline that race arises and exists on the periphery of ‘real politics’ (Hawkesworth 2016; Smith 2004). This disembodied account of politics (Hawkesworth 2016) upholds the myth of ‘neutrality’ within the discipline. Accordingly, the discipline presumes to operate from a place of racelessness (Fujii 2017; Hendrix 2002).In practice, however, the default subject position of a presumed racelessness is actually whiteness (Fujii 2017;Hertel, Singer, and Van Cott 2009; Mazzei and O’Brien 2009; Townsend-Bell 2009).

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