Critical Content Analysis: A Flexible Method for Thinking with Theory

  • Jamie Utt University of Arizona
  • Kathy G. Short University of Arizona
Keywords: Critical Content Analysis, Qualitative Methods, Critical Race Theory, Critical Whiteness Studies


Critical Content Analysis is an explicit method for the study of text that also offers flexibility in theoretical approach and textual selection. In this introduction to the Understanding and Dismantling Privilege special issue featuring Critical Content Analysis focusing on race, racism, and racial oppression, we introduce the method itself and highlight the flexibility of the Critical Content Analysis. Additionally, we highlight the ways that thinking with theory differentiates Critical Content Analysis from other forms of textual analysis and is central to the critical nature of the method.

Author Biographies

Jamie Utt, University of Arizona
Jamie is a doctoral student in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona and an editor of the Understanding and Dismantling Privilege journal. His research focuses on critical mixed methodologies in education research and the intersections of race and schooling in the United States. He is the founder and Director of CivilSchools, a comprehensive school culture and climate program designed to offer skills and tools necessary to build more equitable communities. He also works as a sexual violence prevention educator, having served colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.
Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona

Kathy G. Short is a professor in Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona and Director of Worlds of Words, an initiative to build intercultural understanding through global children’s literature. Her recent books include Teaching Globally: Reading the World through Literature and Critical Content Analysis of Children’s and Young Adult Literature. She is a past President of NCTE and USBBY.