While the concept and measurement of race has been a longstanding focus of social science research, capturing its significance requires a broader notion than utilizing only racial group categories. More recently, race has been treated as both a “characteristic” and a set of experiences that affect a multitude of life conditions and outcomes. This discussion and analysis moves away from treating race as only a categorical and static characteristic to a multi-dimensional concept that is dynamic, relational, and represents the intersection of individual, ecological, and structural components. By exploring the data collection of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research and studies that include race as a variable, we were able to trace how race has been used by social scientists over the past 60 years. Using an extensive coding protocol, we have attained key characteristics of the principal investigator(s) (PI), funders, scope of the overall study, and the use of different measures of race. As a result, this “meta-analysis” of social science surveys enabled this researcher to examine how these studies use a wide scope of racial “variables,” and the way in which PI characteristics affected the inclusion of race-related items. In addition, bivariate analysis is presented to examine social scientists’ tendencies in investigating race and inclusion of qualitative examples of item wordings and response categories. This overview of social science studies is placed in the context of conceptual and measurement issues surrounding the use and meaning of race. Hopefully this can serve to advance the discussion and strategic approaches in doing research about race and what should be incorporated in studying race as a lived experience.