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Racialised social inequalities were exposed and exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The methods health researchers employ in designing and conducting research can replicate the same inequalities, with important implications for the creation of new knowledge. In this paper, we retrospectively and critically analyse the thinking and methods we employed during two qualitative studies about the diverse experiences of people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Set within a wider literature on engaging with race and ethnicity in health research, we present an analysis based on reflexive accounts and testimonies from researchers, and close-up examinations of different stages of the research. By illustrating these ideological, practical and interactional components of research, including some uncomfortable reflections, we hope to encourage more open conversations among researchers and research funders. Through this process, we can strengthen efforts that dismantle unhelpful historical research orthodoxies and move towards re-formulating ways of research practice that are more explicitly anti-racist and inclusive.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Critical Public Health


University of Calgary

Publication Date