To explore the evolution of political-science research on race, Walton et al., have done a systematic review of more than a century of publications appearing in the discipline’s oldest and most prestigious journals: Political Science Quarterly and the American Political Science Review, respectively. Walton and his colleagues uncover “dual traditions” of race scholarship: an “African American Politics” (AAP) paradigm emphasizing empowerment and Blacks’ cultural distinctiveness, and a “Race Relations Politics” (RRP) approach that focuses on Blacks’ socio-political status vis-à-vis Whites. Using computer-assisted text analyses, we introduce a measure of racial dialogue that is informed by theory and has suitable empirical properties. We replicate and extend Walton’s research by adding a third periodical (the Journal of Politics) and demonstrating that, while race conversations are becoming more frequent over time, the dialogues taking place in mainstream journals typically fit Walton’s RRP (rather than AAP) tradition. Following our analyses, we offer guidelines for researchers seeking to apply our measure to alternative contexts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Political Science and International Relations