Sociology | Topics in Social Organization
S410 | 4105 | 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

Michael Walzer. 1997. On Toleration.