Scholarship and Activism Diverge: Responding to MLK's Call with Theory and Research on Diversity, Political Action, and Resistance to Oppression
In this introduction to the special issue, we examine the rift between psychological scholarship on race and racism in the academy and the critical theories embraced by activists and other social sciences. While Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) called on psychologists to “tell it like it is” by illuminating the reality of oppression and racism in its many forms, very little work in the (ideological) psychological literatures has examined this diversity of oppression, including neoliberalism and capitalist structures and how incremental engagement with the political system may do little to actually improve oppressed people's lives. We argue that psychological scholarship and activism on race and racism have diverged. Whereas, activists and nonpsychological social scientists have embraced critical perspectives (e.g., intersectionality and critical race theory), psychologists have not, likely distracted by a move toward more internal and cognitive analyses of prejudice and bias. The articles in this special issue attempt to demonstrate new ways to answer MLK's call in the areas of diversity and leadership, the efficacy of political action, and resistance to oppression.
Journal of Social Issues
Stewart, Andrew L. and Sweetman, Joseph, "Scholarship and Activism Diverge: Responding to MLK's Call with Theory and Research on Diversity, Political Action, and Resistance to Oppression" (2018). Psychology. 612.