Alma Sheppard-Matsuo artwork

Race and American Politics

Race and American Politics:

Race has a profound influence on American political and social life. Moreover, questions surrounding race, racism, and racial ideologies have impacted America from its founding, to the internal strife of the Civil War, to present debates surrounding affirmative action, immigration and electoral reform, and continue to impact the viability of Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy and a (potentially) post-racial politics. Race also structures and influences our political processes in a number of subtle ways as well. For example, political campaigns, the dynamics of public opinion, and the degree to which groups and individuals work together to solve common problems, are all in some way influenced by how race and politics intersect with one another.

This class will provide insight into these processes by highlighting some key questions in the study of race and American politics. In addition, this class will also introduce students to the perspectives and methods that political scientists, specifically, and social scientists, more generally, use in their study of politics as an empirical phenomena.

Dr. Christopher Deis
Kalamazoo College

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