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Critical race theory (CRT) is a scholarly and politically committed movement that takes as its starting point the centrality of race in American history and social life. CRT scholars focus on contemporary economic and political arrangements as well as the historic distribution of public and private resources. CRT began as an attempt to identify the ways in which race had either been ignored or minimized in the study of law and legal institutions, and to point out the consequences of that ignorance.
Fundamental to the scholarly inquiries that animate CRT is the idea that race is a socially constructed category that is deeply implicated in the use and circulation of power in society. Thus its two principal objects of analysis are race and power. CRT represents a body of work created primarily, but not exclusively, by legal scholars of color. It has generated related inquiries in the social sciences and humanities, especially history, sociology, anthropology, and education. Because it takes reflective engagement as a fundamental feature of its methodology, CRT sees the knowledge generated by community-based practices as an essential source for the questions that scholars need to ask. Methodologically, this has produced a narrative form of scholarship that uses “storytelling” as a concrete expression of the commitment to reflective engagement. The importance of storytelling is located in its narrative methodology for construing reality, making sense of that reality, and then translating that meaning, through the use of stories to invoke the voices of an excluded community.
Critical Race Theory. (2008). In J. H. Moore (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (Vol. 1, pp. 365-368). Macmillan Reference USA.