Race and Ethnic Relations

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Spring 2015

Sociology 646 fulfills the ethnic studies requirement. It is also a writing-intensive course. This discussion-based course is an introduction to the sociological study of racial projects, including how racial categories are constructed through the census, the material consequences of citizenship, segregation, and mass incarceration. As such, we will explore how the state actors, elites, academics, and social movement actors construct and contest racial categories. This is not a course about the experiences of “groups,” but about how race comes to matter in the U.S. We will discuss the ways boundaries are drawn and the material consequences that result from such partitioning. (Though the focus will be on the U.S., there will be some comparative analysis.)

I have designed this class to be heavy on both theory and current events. Race theory and academic pursuits, in general, shape and are shaped by what’s happening out in the world. We cannot so easily separate these spheres. Thus, the goal of this course is to give you tools to think with and a language to talk about race & racial conflict. I hope that you can bring this knowledge to bear on what’s happening “out there.” I should emphasize that thinking and talking about race is not black and white. This course is designed so that you confront challenges of talking about and living race. It is my hope that at the end of this course, you will be informed about the myriad ways that race operates in our world, that you will have more questions, and that you will walk away with a greater appreciation of complexity and reflexivity.

Race and Immigrant Assimilation Research Practicum

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Spring 2015

This research seminar will explore the intersections of race, ethnicity, nation, and immigration in the U.S. There has been bourgeoning academic and public interest in immigration, particularly post-1965 with the entry of increased numbers of Latin American and Asian immigrants. Study of immigration provides an opportunity to complicate the Black-white binary, raising interesting implications for analyzing race, racism, and identity in the U.S. We will read work by sociologists, political scientists, economists, and historians. Throughout the course, we will ask: How are immigrants incorporated? What affects their integration in society? We will explore factors—such as residential segregation, friendship networks, and job discrimination—that shape immigrants’ subjective evaluation of whether or not they belong.

Over the course of the semester, students will do background reading on immigration and meta-analysis. They will refine literature review skills, deepen their knowledge of qualitative work on immigration (including ethnography- and interview-based studies). These steps will culminate in conducting a meta-analysis of the literature on immigrant assimilation. Meta-analysis is a systematic way of summarizing and analyzing results across multiple studies. Students will learn a specific method for conducting this analysis—fuzzy set/qualitative comparative analysis.

Ethnic Movements in the United States | Discussion Section Syllabus

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Fall 2014

Sociology 220 fulfills both the ethnic studies requirement and the communications-B University requirement focusing on intensive writing. TAs are responsible for grading all paper assignments submitted in sections. Sections meet twice per week for 50 minutes. The purpose of discussion sections is to critically engage students with specific issues or topics in the course through group discussions, activities, readings, and writing assignments. Discussion sections are a significant component of the course and are separate from lecture. Sections are loosely coordinated with the topics covered in lecture and are intended to help you understand and work with the material in the class. They will not be used as review sessions for material covered in lecture or books. However, you are encouraged to bring any questions you have about lecture or the text to section. The section aims to provide:

  • Open discussion of contemporary controversial issues, the material presented in lecture, and the assigned books
  • Sociological writing and research
  • Analysis of historical and contemporary sociological evidence