Racial Matching in Qualitative Interviews: Integrating Ontological, Ethical, and Methodological Arguments


  • Olivia Marcucci Johns Hopkins University




interviews, racial matching, color-evasiveness , race, qualitative data collection


Because of the primacy of color-evasiveness as an ideological and interactional force, researching race and related processes can be an imprecise process. While not the only salient methodological choice, racial matching during qualitative interviewing may impact the robustness of a qualitative dataset's data on race. Researchers across paradigms agree that interviewers' race impacts data collection. Researchers with different ontological orientations, however, differ in how they would wrestle with that impact. In this article, I integrate quantitative and qualitative methodological research with ontological and ethical considerations to understand the benefits and drawbacks of racial matching in qualitative interview studies. I reflect on two of my research studies involving race through these new insights. I conclude with major ethical questions and ontological considerations for qualitative researchers to consider during the design process of their projects.


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Author Biography

Olivia Marcucci, Johns Hopkins University

Olivia MARCUCCI is an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Education. She is a critical scholar of race and justice in schools. Her current research agenda is motivated by the foundational question: How do schools contribute to or disrupt racialized systems of injustice?


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How to Cite

Marcucci, O. (2024). Racial Matching in Qualitative Interviews: Integrating Ontological, Ethical, and Methodological Arguments. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-25.1.4048



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