Russell A. Castro, MA University of Colorado                                Office Hours: 10:30 – 12:30 TuThr.

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice                      Office Location:  358A Fayard Hall

Southeastern Louisiana University                                         Email:


Race and Ethnicity


Sociology 411/511 - Anthropology 411/511

Senior/Graduate Level Seminar


Prerequisites:               “Introduction to Sociology 101,” and “upper-division” ranking.


Required Texts:           Race and Ethnic Relations, Martin N. Marger


Recommended:           The Invisible Man, Eldridge Cleaver

                                    This Book Is Not Required, Inge Bell

The Under Education of Black America, Manning Marable

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race,

Political Economy and Society, Manning Marable


Required Films:           Boyz in the Hood (John Singleton)

            Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)


This is advanced seminar course.  All participants will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in writing skills and in the effective application of sociological theory to a broad range of topics.  All will be expected to have completed each week’s reading assignments prior to class.  Contribution of factual and/or anecdotal information pertinent to attendant class work and discussion on demand is required. 

In short, students must assume adult, “professional-level” responsibility for assigned work.


Grading & Course Components                         

TERM PAPER                                       50%

FINAL EXAMINATION                           50%


Each student will research and write a term paper (length: 2500 - 3000 words; graduate student papers, 5000 words, minimum) on one topic taken from a list of selected issues, events, and/or ideas.  This paper will be submitted twice: once as a “first-draft” that I will review and make recommendations on, then subsequently as a “final version” that will be evaluated for a final grade.  Individual topic selection will take place during the 2nd week of class.  The paper is the exclusive assignment for graduate students.


The FINAL Exam will be comprehensive & may be in multiple choice, true-or-false, short answer, and/or essay question format, and may range in length from 1 to 100 items.  The exam may include ANY information from lectures, reading assignments, and/or supplementary materials (e.g., films), even if not specified as important.  In-class exercises will include homework assignments, pop-quizzes, presentations, and demonstration of relevant knowledge on demand, that is---when called on in class.  Missed examinations will count as a ZERO towards your final average.  Make Up exams will only be given when the student has informed the instructor at least ONE WEEK in advance of the scheduled test date.


Behavior: The single rule is respect.  Personal conversations, inappropriate interruptions, smoking, chewing tobacco, loud gum chewing or eating, tardiness, or unapproved early departure will not be tolerated.  Anyone disturbing the class or interrupting lecture will be asked to leave the room immediately upon the infraction.




Lecture & Reading Schedule For the Week of:


1/18 – 1/21                           Super- & Subordinate Groups: Sociology Diagnostics Evaluation, Level Playing Field Exercise.


1/24 – 1/28                           Review of Sociological Paradigms: Functionalism, Conflict Theory & Interactionism +

                                                REVIEW & DISCUSS LIST OF POSSIBLE “TERM PAPER” TOPICS. 

                                                Marger, M., Race and Ethnic Relations pp. 5 – 33.


1/31 – 2/4                             Ethnicity: Culture, Community, Ascription, Ethnocentrism & Territoriality +

                                                PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE (2/2) typed, double spaced.

                                                Marger, M. pp. 36 – 66                                      


2/7 & 2/8                               MARDI GRAS HOLIDAYS (Monday & Tuesday; classes resume Wednesday at Noon) 


2/9 – 2/11                             Ethnic Collectivities, Categories, Identity Source, Social Ranking.

                                                Marger, M. pp. 69 – 106.


2/14 – 2/18                           The Myth of Race: Biology, Subjectivity, and Variable Bases of Classification +

RENT & VIEW: “Do The Right Thing” to prepare for discussion (Friday, 2/20).

Marger, M. pp. 108 – 140.


2/21 – 2/25                           FIRST DRAFT DUE of TERM PAPER for Instructor Review (by 2/26)

                                                Marger, M. pp. 146 – 168 . 


2/28 – 3/4                             “Do The Right Thing” IN-CLASS DISCUSSION, graded (3/2).

Student Reports on Research Progress (in-class, graded)


3/7 – 3/11                             Student Reports on Research Progress, continued…

                                                Marger, M. pp. 170 – 196.


3/15 – 3/19                           Racism’s Functions: Justify Stratification, Differential Privilege, Colonial Exploitation.

                                                Marger, M. pp. 198 – 226.


3/14 – 3/18                           FIRST DRAFT of TERM PAPER RETURNED for Student Revisions (4/1).

RENT & VIEW: “Boyz in Da Hood” to prepare for in-class discussion on Tue. (4/6).

Marger, M. pp. 228 – 279.


3/21 – 3/23                          Civil Rights: Unintended Consequences of Forced Integration Efforts.

Discussion of “Boyz…” in-class , graded (4/6).

Marger, M. pp. 282 – 319.


3/25 – 4/3                             SPRING BREAK (All Week).

                                                Marger, M. pp. 322 – 355.


4/4 – 4/08                             Marger, M. pp. 390 – 456.


4/11 – 4/15                           FINAL DRAFT of TERM PAPER DUE (by 4/15, lateness penalties incurred thereafter)                                 Marger, M. pp. 458 – 534.


4/18 – 4/22                           Racism and the Conservative Political Movement in the United States

Marger, M. pp. 536 – 559.


4/25 – 4/29                           Racism and the Conservative Political Movement in the United States (continued)


5/2 – 5/6                                                FINAL EXAM  (administration time to be determined as per standard university schedule).