Researching Inequality

This course will introduce theoretical and methodological considerations for researching social, racial, and geographic inequality in outcomes of concern to urban planners. Topics covered will include: crafting research questions about inequality; defining a “population”; structures and systems that create inequality; differentiating between inequities and inequalities; commonly employed quantitative measures of disparity (spatial and tabular data) and their limitations; analysis of difference using qualitative methods and their limitations; researcher positionality; research ethics, Participatory Action Research theory and methods; the practice of antiracism in research; writing about difference; research to action in urban planning and policy. The course is primarily intended to support students who are actively engaged in researching inequality as part of a thesis, dissertation, or other current research project. Students should bring a research proposal or manuscript (draft or idea phase) to class, as assignments will ask students to apply lessons from class in developing a final research proposal or research paper.