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Graduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 119 (GS;US) Race and Ethnic Relations (4) Historical patterns and current status of racial and ethnic groups; inequality, competition, and conflict; social movements; government policy.

SOC 119 Race and Ethnic Relations (4)
(GS;US)

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

This course has three objectives. First, the course will help you to think critically about issues related to race and ethnicity in American society. These issues include the meaning of race and ethnicity; the extent of racial and ethnic inequality in the U.S., the nature of racism, discrimination, and racial stereotyping; the pros and cons of affirmative action; the development of racial identity; differences between assimilation, amalgamation, and multiculturalism; and social and individual change with respect to race relations. The second objective is to foster a dialogue between you and other students about racist and ethnocentric attitudes and actions. The third objective is to encourage you to explore your own racial and ethnic identity and to understand how this identity reflects and shapes your life experiences.

The course is offered in both a large and a small enrollment format. In large enrollment courses, you not only attend lectures, but also participate in weekly discussion groups run by teaching assistants. These discussion groups typically have between 10 and 15 students. Your course grade is based on a combination of objective examinations, participation in group discussions, and short writing assignments. One example of a written assignment involves weekly journals. Each of your journal entries (typewritten and one or two pages in length) will focus on personal reactions to course material and answers to questions posed by the instructor. The course also requires out-of-class attendance at two campus events related to race or ethnicity, such as films, speakers, or workshops. For each event, a one-page written summary and personal reaction is required. Teaching assistants provide feedback on writing.

Small (or moderate) sections of the course usually operate without separate discussion sections. In these courses, however, instructors set aside a substantial amount of class time for discussion of course material, equivalent to about one class session per week. During discussions, the class may remain together or divide into smaller discussion groups. After addressing a topic, you may be asked to submit a short written reaction to the issues raised in the discussion. Assessment is based partly on objective examinations. In addition, the course requires a library research project in which you explore in greater detail a controversial topic covered in class. These papers require the use of multiple sources (books, journal articles), excluding the textbooks for the course. The instructor provides written feedback, prior to the end of the semester, on your papers.

This course meets a general education requirement in the social and behavioral sciences as well as a general education requirement in intercultural and international competence.


General Education: GS
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Summer 2005

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

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