Racial and Ethnic Relations
Summer 2005
Queens College
Detailed syllabus

Class meets Mondays through Thursdays June 6th to 29th
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:40 PM with one 10-minute break
Location: Powdermaker Hall Room 118
INSTRUCTOR: Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur

marthur AT ric DOT edu

Office Hours by Appointment

Why should we study race? Race does not “exist” in any physical or biological sense. The genes that dictate our skin color, our hair color, the shape of our eyes or our nose—these genes do not come in some neat little bundle that tells us who belongs to which group. Indeed, over history and still today there has not been a consensus on how to classify people into races or even how many races exist. However, race is extremely real in its effects on our lives as individuals and as members of society. By studying race, along with ethnicity (an idea which is often confused or conflated with race), we can unravel where race comes from, why it still matters, how it impacts us, and how it intersects with other sorts of inequality in society.

This course has three primary substantive aims: first, to develop an understanding of how the idea of race has emerged and developed in the United States; and second, to understand how race intersects with other systems of inequality (including class, gender, sexuality, and disability) and with social institutions; and third, to explore the dynamics of ethnicity and immigration that have shaped the United States we live in today. It has the additional aim of giving students the tools to critically interrogate race in term of both their academic and non-academic lives.


Course quiz questions
Supplemental readings and websites
Writing in sociology
QC Library and Peer Advisement training
ASA Citation Style Guide
Get an email account
Ghallagher, Charles A. ed. 2004. Rethinking the Color Line: Readings in Race and Ethnicity. Boston: McGraw Hill. Available at the QC Bookstore and online.

Photocopied reading packet. Available at QC Copy Center.

Working email account and access to
Three daily readings

Class participation and attendance (10% of grade)

Daily in-class quizzes or other activities (15% of grade)

Three weekly 4-6 page papers (20% of grade each=60% of grade)

In-class open-book final exam (15% of grade)
(all readings and assignments due on the date for which they are listed)
Key to location of readings:
T=In Rethinking the Color Line (O-T are optional readings in the text)
R=In photocopied reader (O-R are optional readings in the reader)
Monday, June 6th
Introduction to the Class
Tuesday, June 7th
Theories and Definitions
Omi & Winant, "Racial Formations" T
Feagin & Feagin, "Theoretical Perspectives in Race and Ethnic Relations" T
Bonilla-Silva, "Racialized Social System Approach to Racism" T
Moynihan, "The Negro Family" O-R
Wednesday, June 8th
The History of Race and Ethnicity
Zinn, "Drawing the Color Line" T
Espiritu, "Asian American Panethnicity" T
Blank, "An Overview of Trends in Social and Economic Well-Being, by Race" T
Cartwright, "Report of the Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race" O-R
New York City and Media research plans due
Overheads on the history of racial thought
Thursday, June 9th
Zhou, "The Changing Face of America: Immigration, Race/Ethnicity, and Social Mobility" T
Suleiman, "The Arab Immigrant Experience" T
Waters, "Racial and Ethnic Identities of Second-Generation Black Immigrants" T
Monday, June 13th
Inequalities: Class
Gans, "Positive Functions of the Deserving Poor" T
Oliver & Shapiro, Chapter 6 from Black Wealth/White Wealth R
Suzuki, "Asian Americans as the Model Minority" R
Family History assignment due
Overheads on race and class
Tuesday, June 14th
Inequalities: Gender, Sexuality, Disability
Samuels, "My Body, My Closet" R
Frankenberg, "White Women, Race Matters" R
Matthaei and Amott, "Race, Gender, Work: The History of Asian American Women" T
McIntosh, "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" O-R
Wednesday, June 15th
Intergroup Relations
Feagin, "The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places" T
Pinderhughes, "The Anatomy of Racially Motivated Violence" T
Wu, "The Changing Face of America: Intermarriage and the Mixed-Race Movement"
Waldinger, "When the Melting Pot Boils Over" O-T
Thursday, June 16th
The Dynamics of Ethnicity
Waters, "Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?" T
Wilkins, "A Tour of Indian Peoples and Indian Lands" T
Gilman, "Are Jews White? Or, the History of the Nose Job" R
Monday, June 20th
Kozol, "Savage Inequalities" T
Duster, "Individual Fairness, Group Preferences, and the California Strategy" R
Steele, "Thin Ice: 'Stereotype Threat' and Black College Students" R
Fish, "Reverse Racism" O-R
Race and Ethnicity in New York City assignment due
Overheads on Education
Tuesday, June 21st
Law and Crime
Cole, "The Color of Punishment" T
Davis, "Race and Criminalization" T
Reiman, "...And the Poor Get Prison" T
Overheads on Law & Crime
Wednesday, June 22nd
Lewis & Jhally, "Television and the Politics of Racial Representation" T
Lichter & Amundsen, "Distorted Reality: Hispanic Characters in TV Entertainment" T
Lapchick, "The 2001 Racial and Gender Report Card on Sport" T
Fong-Torres, "Why Are There No Male Asian Anchormen on TV?" O-R
Thursday, June 23rd
Newman & Ellis, "There's No Shame in My Game" T
Neckerman & Kirschenman, "We'd Love to Hire Them But..." T
Wilson, "When Work Disappears" T
Monday, June 27th
Race and Residence
Massey, "Residential Segregation and Neighborhood Conditions" T
DeSena, "Local Gatekeeping Practices and Residential Segregation" T
Bullard, "Environmental Justice in the 21st Century" T
Overheads on Segregation
Race in the Media assignment due
Tuesday, June 28th
Religion; Future Trends
Ghallagher, "Color-Blind Privilege" T
Camarilla & Bonilla, "Hispanics in a Multicultural Society" T
Ong, "The Ambivalence of Salvation" T
Lefever, "When the Saints Go Riding In" O-R
Wednesday, June 29th
What Next?
Ghallagher, "Ten Simple Things You Can Do" T
Huntington, "The Hispanic Challenge" O-R
FINAL EXAM in class