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Understanding Race and Ethnicity in American Society
In this seminar, we will explore the many meanings of race in American society, ranging from the way race affects personal identity to its influence on lifelong social and economic well-being. Through weekly readings and discussion, students will review theories and concepts used by social scientists to study contemporary racial and ethnic relations as well as current research in the field. You will also be asked to explore how race and ethnicity are expressed in everyday life. This assignment will require you to pay close attention to the ways in which racial themes are reflected in popular print and film media and covered in news reporting. You will be challenged to speak candidly about sensitive topics in ways intended to foster greater understanding and sensitivity toward personal and social differences. The topics to be explored include a brief historical overview of race in America, race and violence, race and socioeconomic well-being, and the future of race relations in America. Students will be expected to complete a written assignment each week and actively participate in seminar discussions during the quarter.