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African American Studies W111 - Race, Class, and Gender (3 units): The goal of this course is to describe, interpret and explain the circumstances of African Americans, with regard to race, class and gender stratification in the contemporary USA. We begin with consideration of key concepts, including racialization, racism and ethnicity; Black nationalism, leadership and identity; wealth, income and inequality; sex, gender and the gender division of labor; feminism and Black feminism; and globalization and international migration. We briefly explore the historical background to contemporary stratification by considering theories of 'the declining significance of race' (as argued by William Julius Wilson) and the move from plantation to ghetto, and then from ghetto to penitentiary as controlling institutions used against African Americans (as argued by Loic Wacquant). We also consider how Black women and girls have been left out of the larger debates on these issues (as argued by Nikki Jones), and how consideration of them complicates the analysis. We move on to consider the role of economics, politics, demography, class relations, and racist ideologies in the prevalent patterns of stratification; and the role of black leadership and cultural strategies in reducing inequality. We also consider the principles underlying federal policies for alleviating racial inequality and promoting equal opportunities. Throughout the analysis we consider the impact of gender ideologies on these experiences, and we distinguish the experiences of men and women. We then examine the changing relationship of racist images and racialized structures in the age of Obama and the 'post-racial' society; and assess how globalization impacts African Americans. As the course unfolds we will also consider the unique experiences of African Americans in California, as compared with African Americans across the USA in general, to assess what are the common and what are the distinctive patterns. Most of the time we will focus on African Americans; but we will also consider how their experiences compare with those of other Blacks, especially West Indians and Africans born abroad, but whose children are born/raised in the USA.
Class Number: 13162
Final Exam: Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. (Final exam date is tentative; subject to change by professor)
Register/Add Deadline: TBD (Pacific Time)