To avoid simplification, a methodological process that contextualizes decisions made in qualitative design must exist. Employing Critical Race Theory’s counterstorytelling, I examine how qualitative research void of personal contextualization that informs design, renders simple designs. Since counterstorytelling reveals a nuanced understanding of racism, it becomes an applicable tool that informs racially just research design; thus, counterstorytelling results in complexification, a process rendering research designs more sophisticated. I propose that too much personal distance between researcher and research ultimately masks White hegemonic designs while marginalizing designs brought forth by the contextualization of researchers of color. This paper humbly offers a step-by-step process of how I, a researcher of color, operationalized my counterstories to inform my research design and how it impacted the data derived from the study at large.



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