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Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
* AAS 380 / AMS 382   na, npdf

Public Policy in the American Racial State

Naomi Murakawa

In the context of de facto equality but persistent racial inequality, how do we identify race's role in public policy? This course addresses this question by drawing on a range of interdisciplinary texts. We begin by exploring different theoretical perspectives of race, seeking to define "the racial state" in historical and comparative terms. We then consider how race interacts with a variety of American political institutions, including the welfare state, immigration regulation, and the criminal justice state. We give particular attention to the complexities of racial construction and race's intersection with other forms of hierarchy.

Sample reading list:
Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States
Cathy Cohen, The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black
Ian Haney Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
Robert Lieberman, Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State
Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern
Doris Marie Provine, Unequal Under Law: Race in the War on Drugs
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
250 pages reading per week. Research paper (15-18 pp).

Mid Term Exam - 40%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20702 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W   Stanhope Hall   201   Enrolled:11 Limit:18