Sociology is the study of the interaction between “social structure” and “agency” in every sphere of social life. That is, it seeks to explore the relationship between the constraints that affect large groups of people on the one hand and the individual freedom of people to transcend those constraints on the other.
In this course we will examine the ways in which race and ethnicity as social structures have impacted the lives of so-called minority groups both in the United States and abroad. We will also look at how race and ethnicity work in conjunction with other social structures such as class, gender and sexuality.
To maximize our sense of what it is like to live life as a member of a racial or ethnic group, we will not only read sociology, but also conduct in-class exercises, analyze films, and read literary fiction.