Victor Ray, an assistant professor of sociology, penned an essay for Inside Higher Ed addressing patronizing slander directed against scholars of color. He noted that research that examines discrimination, racism or simply focuses on communities of color has been dismissed as “me studies” or “mesearch.”
“The claim is that we are provincial, our problems are particular and we are stuck navel-gazing at nonuniversal issues,” he writes.
The neologism has roots in deeply held ideas about the inability of people of color to study their communities objectively. That is especially the case if the scholarship locates the problems of nonwhite communities in discrimination or racism as opposed to alleged cultural deficiencies, he says.
“White scholars do mesearch all the time. In many disciplines, that is simply called the canon. Claiming that mesearch is a particular issue for scholars of color demonstrates a profound lack of self-awareness on the part of researchers in the social sciences and humanities,” he said. Read the full article online.