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Race and Public Policy

Course registration will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

This is a seminar for students interested in how minority group identity influences political behavior. While this course could be taught through the black/white binary, we will explore minority group identity broadly, covering race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

This seminar is meant to examine the history and contemporary role of minority groups in the U.S. political system. We will focus on political relationships between several minority groups and their relationship to political participation, party affiliation, voting coalitions, and public opinion, in addition to other groups. Throughout American history, the United States passed laws to restrict the rights of racial and ethnic minorities to purposely keep them outside the political system. In recent years, there has been a growing trend by political parties and politicians to court minority voters and promote diversity. During this semester, we will take up this debate and explore the current state of racial and ethnic politics in the U.S.

What does the marginalized life mean to the American political system? By the end of this course, each student will be able to critically engaged with key literature in race and ethnic politics and will be able to critically examine public policies that influence people of color. They will engage with identity and racialization in how politics and policy handle these issues.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites for this class. I just ask that students have a basic knowledge of American government.