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Race and Politics

This course combines lectures with seminar-form discussion to explore the complex ways that race impacts political behavior and attitudes in (primarily) American politics. The class will specifically focus on the 2016 presidential election—both the lead up and the aftermath. The course takes a sociological approach that stresses the constructed nature of both race and politics. As a group, class participants will explore the mechanisms through which race informs political behavior, while also paying close attention to the ways that politics also informs our understanding of race. The course treats “race” as multifaceted construct, with multiple (and often times conflicting) influences on political behavior. The course will be split into three parts. In the first part it will explore the relationship between racial identity and political behavior at the individual level. The second part of the course will examine how ideas about racial groups shape political attitudes and behaviors, as well as policy outcomes. The third part of the course will explore how race is used to mobilize political and economic actors. This course (SOCI 250) was taught by Corey Fields as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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Corey D. Fields

Department of Sociology