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Research Methods in Africana Studies


Serie McDougal III

Research Methods in Africana Studies is a major contribution to the discipline of Africana studies and social science involving people of African descent in general. This textbook is the first of its kind, offering instruction on how to conduct culturally relevant critical research on Africana communities in the American context, in addition to the African diaspora. It contains a collection of the most widely used theories and paradigms designed for exploring, explaining, and advancing Africana communities through science. The relevance, strengths, and weaknesses of every major method of data collection are explained as they relate to the lived experiences of the Black world. It stands alone as the only textbook that details empirical methods in the service of the collective advancement of Africana peoples.
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2. Methodology in Africana Studies Research


← 29 | 30 → CHAPTER TWO

Methodology in Africana Studies Research


In scientific research, several epistemological tools such as concepts, theories, and paradigms moderate the relationship between the knowing subject and its object. For oppressed people and their descendants, it is important that the intellectual tools guiding the relationship between them and who or what they study is culturally relevant and emancipatory. Methodology is the aspect of research that contains the paradigms, theories, concepts, and methods that shape approaches to study and social intervention. These items are explored in this chapter. First the chapter explains the components of methodology in the research process. Second, it explains the unique paradigms, theories, and models in Africana Studies and how they are used to guide research and explain social phenomena. Third, it explains different types of theory and how they are used in the research process. Let’s begin by discussing methodology.


The difference between the words method and methodology is more than just the three syllables. As mentioned earlier, a research method is a tool of data collection. Methodology includes but goes beyond a researcher’s choice of a method of data collection. Africana Studies is sometimes referred to as multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary. This author asserts that the discipline is unidisciplinary and has multiple ← 30 | 31 → dimensions. What distinguishes Africana Studies from other disciplines is primarily its approach to study and its purpose. That unique approach is defined by unique concepts, theories, and paradigms. Given...

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