Africana Studies Center location:
Martin 221, UCM
Race and Ethnic Relations
here for a printable version of the syllabus.)
Dr. Mary E. Kelly
Office Hours: MTWRF 10:00-11:00 and by appointment
This class will analyze the dynamics of race and ethnicity in modern
states. The emphasis will be on the process of ethnic and nationalist
identity and race/ethnic relations in the United States, however we
will also spend time learning about race/ethnic relations in South
Africa, Canada, and Northern Ireland. A major theme of the class with
be the social construction of race and ethnicity. The text is selected
for its readability and the variety of racial/ethnic groups it discusses.
1. Delineate the basic process and consequences of stratification
across social categories including ethnicity, race, social class,
gender, and societies.
2. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competing theoretical
views and everyday frameworks of understanding, recognizing the complexity
and uncertainty that are always present.
In addition to reading assignments, you are expected to participate
in class. This includes participating in weekly current events discussions.
These discussions will take place on Fridays and students are required
to hand in two current events during the semester, although they are
encouraged to participate in discussions throughout the semester.
There will also be four exams over the reading materials, lectures,
and discussions and two five-page papers. One paper will be a sociological
analysis of a novel which deals with racial and/or ethnic issues.
The second paper will be about your own family's ethnic history and
how your family's history relates to specific ethnic/racial groups.
You will also give an oral presentation over this paper. This syllabus
is a basic guideline for the course, but please be aware that dates
may change due to class needs and that you are responsible for any
announcements I make in class about changes and any written materials
that I might hand out. All changes in the syllabus will be posted
on the class web page.
Grades will be based on exams (4/100 points each), quizzes (points
to be determined), two papers (50 points each), presentation (10 points),
and current events (2/5 points each). 90%-100% of the total points
is an "A," 80%-89% of the total points is a "B,"
70%-79% of the total points is a "C," 60%-69% of the total
points is a "D," and less than 60% of the total points is
an “F.” If you miss a test or paper deadline during the
semester you will receive a zero for that test or paper. If you miss
the deadline for the final, you will fail the course. Please visit
me during office hours, make an appointment to see me, and/or e-mail
me if there is anything you wish to discuss.
I expect students will contribute to the collective learning experience
by not disrupting the classroom in anyway. This includes coming to
class on time and not leaving early. I expect you will not be eating
in the classroom nor any other distracting activity such as reading
newspapers or books or talking on your cell phone or letting your
cell phone ring. What you do affects other students and you have an
obligation to act in ways conducive to learning. If I feel you are
disruptive to the classroom, I will ask you to leave. Any further
disruptions will result in disciplinary action through the University.
I expect students to engage in class discussion. Engaging in class
discussion includes responding to my questions, asking me questions,
and responding to other students’ comments. It also means listening
while others are talking.
I expect students will attend class. Instructors are required to allow
for make-up work only when a student is absent because of participation
in approved university activities, by order of a qualified physician,
or a family emergency that needs to be verified in some way.
If you are going to miss an exam or class presentation that you are
responsible for, you need to contact me before you miss it. Make-up
exams must be taken within 5 days after the student’s return
to class and will usually be in essay format. If you miss a regular
class period, it is your responsibility to ask another student for
the materials that were missed. Do not ask me to repeat the material
for you. You do not need to call and inform me that you will be missing.
Just be responsible and find out about the material and work you missed.
Note that in-class assignments or quizzes cannot be made up.
I expect students to be prepared for class by doing the reading and
handing in assignments as they are due. You need to have read the
relevant chapter before I lecture on it so that you might be better
prepared for discussion and/or a pop quiz. Occasionally I might ask
you to write brief summaries of the readings or give a quiz in class
to make sure that you understand the readings. When assignments are
given a due date, that means they are due in class on that day. Anything
handed in to me after class time will be penalized.
I expect students will practice academic integrity. Academic dishonesty
includes cheating on exams, stealing copies of exams, copying someone
else’s work and calling it your own, making up citations, etc.
These acts will be dealt with according to University policy and will
result in failing the course and/or being suspended from the University.
In addition, you must be careful to avoid plagiarizing when you write
papers for the course. Plagiarism is using someone else’s words
or ideas and passing them off as your own. At minimum, plagiarism
will result in a 0 for the paper, it could also result in failing
the course or university disciplinary action if I deem it appropriate.
I expect students will respect the diversity of the classroom composition.
There will be differences of opinions, of language, of values, of
appearance, and/or discussion styles. As a student you have a right
to speak your mind, and an obligation to listen to others. There is
no room in academic dialogue for a ‘majority rule’ mentality
nor for anyone to be attacked or disregarded for their intellectual
There will be a web page for this class through “Blackboard.”
The syllabus and writing assignments will be posted on this page.
Reviews for tests will only be posted on the web page. Please let
me know if you ever have trouble accessing the web page.
Marger, Martin N. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives.
(6th Edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.