New Bass Connections Theme on Race & Society

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Led by the Social Science Research Institute

Nearly every facet of society and our lives — including how and where we live, learn, work and play — is shaped by race. While extensive research has revealed that race is a biological fiction, the social construct of race has very real consequences. Growing evidence shows that deep and broad racial inequities in our society are the results of historical and contemporary racism embedded in ideologies, norms, spaces, structures, and institutional policies and practices.

Bass Connections in Race & Society supports interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students and external partners in their exploration of race-related issues, ultimately contributing to solutions that bring about more racially equitable societies. We encourage projects that investigate how race intersects with various aspects of society and lived experience (e.g., environment, human development, immigration, health and healthcare, music, art, literature, history, education, economy, gender and sexuality, work, religion, STEM, policy, community life). Project teams may focus their inquiry across the lifespan, including those investigating childhood, adolescence, adulthood and/or old age. Projects may focus on any region including local, national, international or cross-national comparative research. 

Bass Connections projects may utilize a variety of approaches, including qualitative and quantitative methods, case studies, surveys, ethnographic studies, computational methods, interventions, program evaluation, and community-based participatory research. Examples of Bass Connections project outputs include scholarly publications, websites, research reports, art, poetry, maps, multimedia components, and outreach and connections in the community, among others. 

This description is not exhaustive; we encourage project teams to use creative, innovative approaches to studying and addressing the intersection of race and society, from broad exploration of societal issues to specific, micro-level ways that racism affects individuals in their day-to-day lives.

Faculty may propose year-long Bass Connections projects under the Race & Society theme through the Bass Connections RFP, which will be released in September 2021 for projects to start during the 2022-2023 academic year. 

To discuss project ideas or opportunities to engage in the theme, please contact theme leaders Tyson Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Anna Gassman-Pines, WLF Bass Connections Associate Professor of Public Policy.