Sociology | Topics in Social Organization
S410 | 21042 | James

Topic:  Race, Identities and Race Inequalities


Racial and ethnic identities continue to be important determinants of
the life chances of individuals.  Many social pundits and scholars
report that racial polarization in the U.S. is increasing, that
multiculturalism is a battleground rather than a meeting ground, that
assimilation is dead, and racial conflict endemic.  This course will
examine the forces that shape the creation and maintenance of racial
identities and racial inequalities in the United States and the
linkages between the two.  We will pay special attention to how
racial identities are created and experienced by individuals in the
U.S.  In the process, we will try to answer the question of why
whites and blacks (as well as other non-white groups) have different
opinions about social inequalities and relationships between racial
groups.  Special attention will be focused on the Civil Rights
movement of the 1960s and on recent ethnically based violent
conflicts in other parts of the world as agents of change in racial
identities and inequalities.

Course requirements will be satisfied by participation in class
discussions and completion of two exams and perhaps one paper.

I will assign all or most of the following texts, but I am still
reviewing books and may make a substitution or addition if it seems
appropriate when I order books for the course.

Stephen Cornell and Douglas Hartmann.  1998.  Ethnicity and Race:
Making Identities in a Changing World.

Michael Omi and Stephen Winant.  1994.  Racial Formation in the
United States.

Michael Walzer.  1997.  On Toleration.