Alex M. Johnson, Jr.

Defending the Use of Narrative and Giving Content to the Voice of Color: Rejecting the Imposition of Process Theory in Legal Scholarship

PUBLISHER
Iowa Law Review
DATE
1994
 

Abstract

Over the last decade, a body of scholarship known as Critical Race Theory' has emerged. Written predominately by scholars of color, it challenges traditional legal orthodoxy and contends that the neutral acontextual approach taken in legal scholarship is seriously flawed. Furthermore, a methodological format known as Narrative has emerged as the preferred genre of scholarship for scholars of color and others producing Critical Race Theory. Some authorities applaud the use of Critical Race Theory and its exposition in Narrative format, although others decry its use. 

While a limited debate has taken place over the existence of the Voice of Color, its appropriate use, and its scholarly worth, that debate has foundered on what seems to be hesitancy by majoritarian (Euro-American) scholars to address claims made by Critical Race Theorists. A fear of being attacked as illiberal at best and racist at worst unfortunately may have produced reluctance to criticize or address the contentions of Critical Race Theory. Hence, a debate that had the potential to define, and perhaps even energize, the use of Critical Race Theory fizzled to a halt as a result of limitations caused by the current era of "political correctness”.  As a result, a certain desuetude has settled on Critical Race Theory. Scholars continue to write articles that are properly classified as Critical Race Theory, some in Narrative and others in the traditional legal methodological format.' However, Critical Race Theory has not affected the legal academy as some authors had hoped it would. Instead, Critical Race Theory is on the verge of being marginalized as "outsider scholarship"" whose use is exclusively by and for minority, outsider, or subordinated scholars.

 

Citation

Alex M. Johnson Jr., Defending the Use of Narrative and Giving Content to the Voice of Color: Rejecting the Imposition of Process Theory in Legal Scholarship, 79 Iowa Law Review 803-852 (1994).
 

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