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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sara Tomczuk
SOC 401
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Sociology

Selected topics of contemporary interest taught by a sociologist active in the field. Topics vary and may be substantive, theoretical, or methodological.

Class description

American sociologists often discuss race as a primary indicator in the outcomes of individuals’ life chances. Yet outside of the US, national and ethnic identities often have similarly deep implications for how individuals experience and perceive the world around them. Ethnic and national identity can be fonts of cooperation or conflict.

This special topics course is an introduction to both the social science theoretical approaches to national, ethnic, and racial identities and influential substantive studies of those topics. Themes include identity and boundary formation and maintenance, ethnic politics, and interethnic conflict and cooperation.

SELECTED READINGS

(Please note that this is NOT a complete syllabus)

Week 2

July 1: Identity and the Polity: Nations and Nation-states

Anderson, Benedict. 1991 [1983]. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. Revised Edition. London: Verso.

Marx, Anthony W. 1998 Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa, and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

July 3: Identity and the Polity: Empires and Multi-ethnic States Slezkine, Yuri. 1994. “The USSR as a communal apartment, or how a socialist state promoted ethnic particularism.” Slavic Review. 53:414–452.

Hammel, E.A., Carl Mason, and Mirjana Stevanovic. 2010. “A Fish Stinks from the Head: Ethnic Diversity, Segregation and the Collapse of Yugoslavia.” Demographic Research. 22: 1097-1142.

Week 3

July 8: Boundaries v. Identities I

Chai, Sun-Ki. 2005. “Predicting Ethnic Boundaries.” European Sociological Review. 21: 375-391.

Wimmer, Andreas. 2008. “The Making and Unmaking of Ethnic Boundaries: A Multilevel Process Theory.” American Journal of Sociology. 113(4): 970-1022.

July 10: Boundaries v. Identities II

Hale, Henry. 2008. “Introduction” and “Chapters 2 and 3” in The Foundations of Ethnic Politics: Separatism of States and Nations in Eurasia and the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Week 4

July 15: Ethnic Politics

Vermeersch, Peter. 2006. “Introduction” and “Chapter 1” in The Romani Movement: Minority Politics and Ethnic Mobilization in Contemporary Europe. New York: Berghahn Books.

Barany, Zoltan. 2005. “Ethnic Mobilization in the Postcommunist Context: Albanians in Macedonia and the East European Roma,” in Ethnic Politics After Communism. Zoltan Barany and Rober G. Moser, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press

July 17: Nation, Religion and Politics

Zubrzycki, Genvieve. 2006. The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post- Communist Poland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Week 5

July 22: Social Psychology on Ethnic Identity

Saperstein, Aliya and Andrew M. Penner. 2010. “The Race of a Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perceptions.” Social Problems. 57 (1): 92-113.

Pettigrew, Thomas F. 1998. “Intergroup Contact Theory.” Annual Review of Psychology. 49:65–85.

July 24: Ethnicity as a Frame

Brubaker, Rogers, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, and Liana Grancea. 2006. Excerpts from Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lamont, Michèle 2000. “The Rhetoric of Racism and Anti-racism in France and the United States.” in Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociology: Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States. Michèle Lamont and Laurent Thévenot, eds. Cambridge University Press.

Week 7

Aug. 5: Interethnic Conflict I

Fearon, James D. and David D. Laitin. 1996. “Explaining Interethnic Cooperation.” The American Political Science Review. 90 (4): 715-735.

Chirot, Daniel. 2005. “What Provokes Violent Ethnic Conflict: Political Choice in One African and Two Balkan Cases,” in Ethnic Politics After Communism. Zoltan Baranz and Rober G. Moser, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Aug. 7: Interethnic Conflict II

Ross, Marc Howard. 2007. “Preface” and “Chapters 1 and 2” Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Varshney, Ashutosh. 2002. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Hayden, Robert M. 2002. “Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites in South Asia and the Balkans.” Current Anthropology. 43(2): 205-231.

Week 8

Aug. 12: Collective Memory and Identity

Rivera, Lauren A. 2008. “Managing ‘Spoiled’ National Identity: War, Tourism, and Memory in Croatia.” American Sociological Review. 73(4): 613-634.

Cohen, Shari J. 1999. “Introduction” and “Chapters 1 and 2.” Politics without a Past: The Absence of History in Postcommunist Nationalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

American sociologists often discuss race as a primary indicator in the outcomes of individuals’ life chances. Yet outside of the US, national and ethnic identities often have similarly deep implications for how individuals experience and perceive the world around them. Ethnic and national identity can be fonts of cooperation or conflict.

This special topics course is an introduction to both the social science theoretical approaches to national, ethnic, and racial identities and influential substantive studies of those topics. Themes include identity and boundary formation and maintenance, ethnic politics, and interethnic conflict and cooperation.

SELECTED READINGS

(Please note that this is NOT a complete syllabus)

Week 2

July 1: Identity and the Polity: Nations and Nation-states

Anderson, Benedict. 1991 [1983]. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. Revised Edition. London: Verso.

Marx, Anthony W. 1998 Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa, and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

July 3: Identity and the Polity: Empires and Multi-ethnic States Slezkine, Yuri. 1994. “The USSR as a communal apartment, or how a socialist state promoted ethnic particularism.” Slavic Review. 53:414–452.

Hammel, E.A., Carl Mason, and Mirjana Stevanovic. 2010. “A Fish Stinks from the Head: Ethnic Diversity, Segregation and the Collapse of Yugoslavia.” Demographic Research. 22: 1097-1142.

Week 3

July 8: Boundaries v. Identities I

Chai, Sun-Ki. 2005. “Predicting Ethnic Boundaries.” European Sociological Review. 21: 375-391.

Wimmer, Andreas. 2008. “The Making and Unmaking of Ethnic Boundaries: A Multilevel Process Theory.” American Journal of Sociology. 113(4): 970-1022.

July 10: Boundaries v. Identities II

Hale, Henry. 2008. “Introduction” and “Chapters 2 and 3” in The Foundations of Ethnic Politics: Separatism of States and Nations in Eurasia and the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Week 4

July 15: Ethnic Politics

Vermeersch, Peter. 2006. “Introduction” and “Chapter 1” in The Romani Movement: Minority Politics and Ethnic Mobilization in Contemporary Europe. New York: Berghahn Books.

Barany, Zoltan. 2005. “Ethnic Mobilization in the Postcommunist Context: Albanians in Macedonia and the East European Roma,” in Ethnic Politics After Communism. Zoltan Barany and Rober G. Moser, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press

July 17: Nation, Religion and Politics

Zubrzycki, Genvieve. 2006. The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post- Communist Poland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Week 5

July 22: Social Psychology on Ethnic Identity

Saperstein, Aliya and Andrew M. Penner. 2010. “The Race of a Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perceptions.” Social Problems. 57 (1): 92-113.

Pettigrew, Thomas F. 1998. “Intergroup Contact Theory.” Annual Review of Psychology. 49:65–85.

July 24: Ethnicity as a Frame

Brubaker, Rogers, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, and Liana Grancea. 2006. Excerpts from Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lamont, Michèle 2000. “The Rhetoric of Racism and Anti-racism in France and the United States.” in Rethinking Comparative Cultural Sociology: Repertoires of Evaluation in France and the United States. Michèle Lamont and Laurent Thévenot, eds. Cambridge University Press.

Week 7

Aug. 5: Interethnic Conflict I

Fearon, James D. and David D. Laitin. 1996. “Explaining Interethnic Cooperation.” The American Political Science Review. 90 (4): 715-735.

Chirot, Daniel. 2005. “What Provokes Violent Ethnic Conflict: Political Choice in One African and Two Balkan Cases,” in Ethnic Politics After Communism. Zoltan Baranz and Rober G. Moser, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Aug. 7: Interethnic Conflict II

Ross, Marc Howard. 2007. “Preface” and “Chapters 1 and 2” Cultural Contestation in Ethnic Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Varshney, Ashutosh. 2002. Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Hayden, Robert M. 2002. “Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites in South Asia and the Balkans.” Current Anthropology. 43(2): 205-231.

Week 8

Aug. 12: Collective Memory and Identity

Rivera, Lauren A. 2008. “Managing ‘Spoiled’ National Identity: War, Tourism, and Memory in Croatia.” American Sociological Review. 73(4): 613-634.

Cohen, Shari J. 1999. “Introduction” and “Chapters 1 and 2.” Politics without a Past: The Absence of History in Postcommunist Nationalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sara Tomczuk
Date: 02/04/2014