POL 3462: The Politics of Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the United States, South Africa and Cuba

3 Credits

Is it true that since the election of Donald Trump, the United States is more racist than ever? Is racism on the rise elsewhere in the world? Consistent with the goals of liberal education, this course helps students navigate their way through what is often seen as one of the most perplexing and intractable problems in today's world—racial and ethnic conflicts. It supplies a set of theoretical tools that can be utilized in the most diverse of settings—including, though to a lesser extent, gender. Rather than looking at these conflicts, as the media and popular knowledge often does, as centuries-old conflicts deeply set in our memory banks, a script from which none of us can escape, the course argues that inequalities in power and authority—in other words, class—go a long way in explaining racial and ethnic dynamics. To support this argument, the course examines the so-called “black-white” conflict in three settings, the U.S., South Africa, and Cuba. While all three share certain similarities, their differences provide the most explanatory power. Most instructive is the Cuba versus U.S. and South Africa comparison. Specifically, what are the consequences for race relations when a society, Cuba, attempts to eliminate class inequalities? The course hopes to show that while we all carry with us the legacy of the past, we are not necessarily its prisoners.

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B+ Average (3.287)Most Common: A (31%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

140 students

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