SOC 3825 Syllabus
Africana Studies offered by Central Missouri State University  
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  SOC 3825- Race and Ethnic Relations

(Click here for a printable version of the syllabus.) 
Dr. Mary E. Kelly
204B Wood
Office Hours: MTWRF 10:00-11:00 and by appointment
Phone: 543-8509


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 positions.

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.