Racial disparities without racism: Some conceptual & analytical considerations. By: Williams, Deadric T. 2024. Sociology Compass. Vol. 18 Issue 2, p1-9.

Most studies on racial inequality begin with a series of statistics highlighting racial variations in an outcome of interest to illustrate how wide (or narrow) the gaps between racialized groups are. This approach is standard in racial inequality research because emphasizing racial differentials between racialized groups helps researchers frame inequality as a social problem. Scholars across academic disciplines and across sub‐areas within sociology report racial statistics to pay attention to what social scientists refer to as racial disparities. Presenting racial disparities is extremely important for documenting inequality; however, family scholars tendto provide descriptive statistical portraits along ethno‐racial lines (disparities) in the absence of racism, which, in turn, conceals the United States’ racialized historical context. In other words, reporting racial inequality as disparities without addressing racism is a critical omission in family science research. Emphasizing racism is important because biological explanation still permeates the American imagination about racial inequality. The purpose of this paper is to provide conceptual and analytical considerations for future racial inequality and family research by recasting disparities as manifestations of racism instead of mere statistical differences. To illustrate the conceptual considerations, I first build on Williams’ theoretical model focusing on structural racism and Black family life. I expand on how racism not only makes the idea of race possible but also manifests in observable, measurable outcomes. In the second section, I present an analytical consideration for understanding Black families’ inequality by focusing on within‐group analyses. These conceptual and analytical considerations serve as ways to adequately represent Black families and children in the US.