Friday, February 8, 2013

Role Call of Resources - Bad Scholarly Article

I've decided to do an ongoing series this semester about current real world examples I'm using in class to illustrate points. Let's begin with an article written in an extremely popular peer reviewed source...

Evaluating Sources

The Black Devil Beats Article
This is actually worse than blaming hip hop, it's actually blaming 'African Americans and their music' for juvenile delinquency. Yep. That bad.  But, it's from a Peer Reviewed source, so it must be credible, right kids? The below article is from the January issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal. It couldn't be more inflammatory due to the terrible definition of African American music and the researchers need to narrowly define two genres of music entirely by race. There are so many negative and ill-informed implications from using these definitions. This just continues to support negative stereotypes that are not actually proved by this research. UGH! This from what is described as "among the top 2% most-cited scientific and medical journals." I'm so disappointed. There are way too many people that will be reading this and not thinking there's anything wrong with it.

Issues to discuss with students
1. What do you think about their definition of "African American music?"

2. African American music is the only genre defined by race. Is that okay? Why or why not?

3. Jazz, a musical genre with roots in African American culture was NOT identified by race, and yet is in the "high brow" category. What does that tell you about the perspective of these researchers? 

4. Can you think of any other reasons for correlations between music exposure and juvenile delinquency?

5. Why would you, or why would you not use this article?

6. THIS WAS PUBLISHED IN A PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL. What does that mean to you when you're evaluating sources? 

And now, students, please take the rest of this library session to discuss institutional racism, and I'll be in my office listening to hip hop,  AND R&B at the same time. Take that Netherlandic Researchers!

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