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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Benjamin F. Gonzalez
LSJ 331
Seattle Campus

The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in the United States

Introduction to the history and development of racial hierarchy, focusing on how race and ethnicity shape political institutions (e.g., the Constitution, political parties, voting systems). Examination of political relationships between Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Case studies of minority representation and the politics of welfare, crime, immigration, and terrorism. Offered: jointly with POL S 317.

Class description

Race and ethnicity continue to play a significant role in American politics and the goal of this course will be to deepen students' understanding of their continued effects in specific policy areas. We begin by exploring the early historical formation of racial categories, segregation and discrimination and how these continue to be reflected in modern racial hierarchies in the United States. We then turn to an examination of the role played by race and racism in poverty, crime control, and immigration. This class will emphasize participation and an exploration of these topics through class discussions and a term paper that will allow students to conduct their own research with the assistance of the instructor.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites but a basic understanding of American politics is helpful

Class assignments and grading

Participation in discussions Three quizzes over readings Presentation of paper topic Final paperParticipation and short writing assignments

Participation: 25% Quizzes: 20% Paper Proposal & Presentation: 15% Final Paper: 40%


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 Benjamin F. Gonzalez
Date: 04/25/2012