In Part III, we identify priority areas for research and data collection that can help build a stronger base of knowledge about the incidence, causes, and consequences of racial discrimination in a variety of domains. Our discussion emphasizes the need for research that draws on the strengths of different kinds of measurement methods and data sources. Such research requires concerted cooperative efforts among funding agencies that have traditionally funded certain kinds of studies and certain disciplines and among researchers themselves.
Part III comprises Chapters 10–12. Chapter 10 provides a more detailed description than was initially provided in Chapter 2 of federal government standards for collecting data on race and ethnicity and how federal racial categories have changed over time with changing societal conceptions of race. Although not always consistent with scholarly concepts of race, the federal standards are important because they shape much of the data that are available for analysis of racial discrimination, disparities among racial groups, and related topics. The chapter considers measurement issues that affect reporting of race and ethnicity and makes recommendations for continued governmental collection of race data and methodological research to understand reporting effects.
Chapter 11 considers the concept of cumulative discrimination and how racial discrimination may have effects over time and across different domains. Cumulative effects may be missed using some of the methods described earlier in this report. Because so little empirical research has been conducted on cumulative phenomena, either over time or across domains, we treat this topic as a matter of priority for future research. Our discussion in this chapter begins to consider theories and possible approaches that may help researchers interested in studying mechanisms of cumulative discrimination and their effects.
Finally, Chapter 12 provides suggestions to program and research agencies of next steps for building an agenda for research and associated data collection. The aim of this chapter is not to develop a detailed agenda per se; rather, it brings together the recommendations that are in earlier chapters and puts them in a framework of the need for and power of multidisciplinary studies that draw on multiple methods and data sources. Because of the difficulties of measuring racial discrimination, the best analyses will make use of findings from a variety of studies that, ideally, are implemented within a common conceptual and measurement framework.