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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Political Science (PL SC)

PL SC 123 (GS;US;IL) Ethnic and Racial Politics (3) Political movements among United States ethnic and racial groups; government policies on race and ethnicity; comparison to other culturally diverse countries.

PL SC 123 Ethnic and Racial Politics (3)
(GS;US;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Despite many historical predictions that ethnic and racial distinctions would decline over time, recent events in the United States and around the world indicate that ethnic and racial identity remain strongly significant in politics. An analysis of the role race and ethnicity play in politics and government is of major relevance not only in the field of political science, but in several other fields, such as anthropology, sociology, economics, history, linguistics, and religious studies.

By studying ethnic and racial politics, students will learn the various methods by which social groups organize to achieve political goals, how and why opposition usually arises to those goals, and what policies governments can pursue to defuse social tensions. Students will also learn the historical and cultural basis of ethnic identities and the resulting political disputes that result when social groups differentiate themselves from other social groups.

Important to the course will be the use of comparative case studies of the United States to ethnic and racial politics in other countries, such as Canada, Indonesia, and South Africa. Examination of relevant political movements and government policies in these countries will help to determine whether the United States can learn from others or whether others can learn from the United States. The course will also include an international component through the comparative case studies as well as discussion of immigration policy and the role of ethnic groups in U.S. foreign policy.


General Education: GS
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Fall 2007
Prerequisite: PL SC 001 orPL SC 003

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.