This course looks at race and ethnicity in modern American society, especially New York City with its extensive and diverse experience of immigration. It relies on a perspective that emphasizes the “social construction” of ethnicity and race in particular historical and cultural circumstances. While racial and ethnic identities are not natural phenomena, they have real sociological consequences for identity, culture, and social relations including the formation of groups.
The course utilizes a mix of instructional methods. New material will be introduced in lectures complemented by a variety of textual resources including film and the Internet; readings assigned outside of class reinforce topics. Topics include:
Lecture topics are geared to research projects. Projects consist of questions that require a multi-faceted response including primary research such as observation and interviews. A first draft will be presented in class in a seminar format. Students have the opportunity to revise this version. Class presentations are also designed to underscore key teaching points. Students are required to submit a second draft within 1 week of their class presentation.
Research projects are the basis for a course grade. Individual projects are averaged together with a grade for class participation which pivots on contributions to the whole group learning experience.
The course text is Ethnicity and Race 2d edition (2007) by S. Cornell and D. Hartmann. The book is to be used a reference for the main themes of the course. I will supplement the text with readings available on my web site, on the course’s e-reserve account, and in the QCC Library electronic reserves. Reading is absolutely necessary to take your understanding to a higher level; it must be incorporated into your written submissions for a maximum grade.
Office Hours: 2-3 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday in M121