Race, Class, and Gender in the United States


* Do not use outside sources to answer these questions. Again, bring only the module 1-4 book readings into the essay.

• Well-supported papers will incorporate a wide range of course materials.

* Be sure to fully answer all parts of the question(s) being asked.

* Avoid merely summarizing the information from our course materials in your paper. Instead, provide analysis of how the SOC 350 material specifically supports your response to the question.

Module (1 Theory; 2 Class; 3 Race: Creating and Maintaining the Color Line; 4 Race: Ethnicity and Nationality)

Reading Materials: (Race, Class, and Gender…)

• Part I Introduction: The Social Construction of Difference: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, Paula Rothenberg, pp. 7

• Imagine a Country, 2012, Holly Sklar, pp. 324-334

• Domination & Subordination, Jean Baker Miller, pp. 110-116

• Defining Racism: “Can We Talk?”, Beverly Daniel Tatum, pp. 125-132

• Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege, Pem Davidson Buck, pp. 33-38

• White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh, pp. 175–179

• Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Annette Lareau, pp. 180-188

• Class in America: 2012, Gregory Mantsios, pp. 189-207

• Deconstructing the Underclass, Herbet Gans, pp. 104-109

• Cause of Death: Inequality, Alejandro Reuss, pp. 389-393

• Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid, Jonathan Kozol, pp. 627-640

• College Choices Are Limited for Students From Needy Familes, Report Says, Stephen Burd, pp. 308-309

• The Making of the American 99% and the Collapse of the Middle Class, Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, pp. 350-354

• Wealth Gaps Rise To Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics: Twenty-to-One, Kochhar, Fry, & Taylor, pp. 355-361

• The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch, Richard Wright, pp. 23-32

• C.P. Ellis, Studs Terkel, pp. 482-492

• The Black Codes, W.E.B. Du Bois, pp. 532

• Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857, pp. 524–527

• Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954, pp. 556–560

• Racial Formations, Michael Omi and Howard Winant, pp. 13-22

• Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of America, Mae Ngai, pp. 224-234

• Smells Like Racism, Rita Chaudhry Sethi, pp. 141-148

• Immigration’s Aftermath, Alejandro Portes, pp. 397-400

• Color-Blind Racism, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, pp. 133-140

• Part VII Introduction: How it Happened: Race and Gender Issues in U.S. Law, pp. 493-50

• Civilize Them with a Stick, Mary Brave Bird (Crow Dog) and Richard Erodes, pp. 410-413

• Indian Tribes: A Continuing Quest . . ., U.S. Commission on Human Rights, p. 501-505

• For Many Latinos, Racial Identity is More Culture than Color, Mireya Navarro, pp. 238-241

• People v. Hall, 1854, pp. 522-523

• Yellow, Frank Wu, pp. 422-425

• How Jews Became White Folks: and What That Says About Race in America, Karen Brodkin, 39-53

• Then Came the War, Yuri Kochiyama, pp. 414-421

• The Arab Woman and I, Mona Fayad, pp. 426-427

Answer either one of the following questions. (MINIMUM OF 500 WORDS)

Q1A. How do race and social class combine to define the lives of people who live in poverty in the U.S.?


Q1B. How do race and social class combine to define the lives of the wealthiest people in the U.S.?


Module 5: Gender

• Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender, Judith Lorber, pp. 54-65

• Patriarchy, Allan Johnson, pp. 153–162

• Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls Convention, 1848, pp. 513–16

• United States Constitution: 19th Amendment, 1920, p. 550

• The Equal Rights Amendment (Defeated), p. 562

• Homophobia As a Weapon of Sexism, Suzanne Pharr, pp. 163-172

Q2: Lorber claims that gender discrimination is organized around both “sameness” and “difference.” Discuss what this means with examples from other readings.

Q3: Johnson explains that patriarchy in any society has three components.

It is:

• male-dominated

• male-identified

• male-centered

Discuss any one of these components and explain its relation to American society.


Module 6: Sexuality

• The Social Construction of Sexuality, Ruth Hubbard, pp. 66-69

• The Invention of Heterosexuality, Jonathan Ned Katz, pp. 70-81

• Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity, Michael S. Kimmel, pp. 82-93

• The Case of Sharon Kowalski and Karen Thompson: Ableism, Heterosexism,and Sexism, Joan L. Griscom, pp. 472-480

• Anti-Gay Stereotypes, Richard D. Mohr, pp. 585-591

• Why Transgender Identity Matters, Rebecca Juro, pp. 283-285

Q4: Katz describes the “invention of heterosexuality” over time.

Discuss any one time period that he analyzes.

* As a class, let’s be sure that all of the article/time periods are covered in the discussion.

Q5: Kimmel claims that homophobia has been a key element in the key element in the creation and maintenance of masculinity.

Explain his argument.


Module 7: Mechanisms of oppression

• Self-Fulfilling Stereotypes, Mark Snyder, pp. 579-584

• Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse, Sut Jhally, pp. 603- 610

• The Plutocratic Culture: Institutions, Values, and Ideologies, Michael Parenti, pp. 611-617

• Media Magic: Making Class Invisible, Gregory Mantsios, pp. 618-626

• Masked Racism: Reflections On the Prison Industrial Complex, Angela Davis, pp. 641-645

• More Blacks Live With Pollution, Associated Press, pp. 315-317

Q6: How are stereotypes reinforced, according to Snyder, and why are they so difficult to overcome?

Q7: How does news media shape our perceptions of social class in the U.S., according to Mantsios?

Discuss any two of his claims.

* As a class, let’s be sure that all of the claims mentioned are covered in the discussion.


Module 8: Towards the future…

• Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change, Andrea Ayvazian, pp. 672-678

• Rethinking Volunteerism in America, Gavin Leonard, pp. 679-682

• Beyond Elections: People Power, Mark Bittman, pp. 686-688

• Demand the Impossible, Matthew Rothschild, pp.689-691

Q8: Using the ideas in the four readings, what kinds of changes can you imagine happening in your lifetime?

These can be microsocial changes (at the level of individual people) or macrosocial changes (at the level of institutions, such as schools systems, religious organizations, governments, corporations, etc.).

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