jump to contentsacramento state - leadership begins here



sac state homeadmissionsabout sac stategiving a giftsite indexcontact us

site link 1 | site link 2 | site link 4 | site link 5 | site link 6 | site link 7 | site link 8 | site link 9 | site link 10

·         College Name

·         Department Name

Ethnic Studies 011


Professor: Ricky K. Green               

Office: Amador 562A                                  

Office Hours M/W 10-11:50                                              

Phone:  278-3359, E-mail: greenr@csus.edu


Course Description:

Introduction to Ethnic Studies. Introduces the diverse institutional, cultural, and historical issues relating to the past and present life circumstances of Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, Black Americans, and Native Americans. Designed to introduce students to information presented in upper division courses with ethnic studies content. 3.0 units.


Course Objectives:

·         To provide students with a broad range of information relating to issues affecting and concerns of the groups identified above.

·         To familiarize students with how social science literature has examined ethnic minorities.

·         To introduce students to some important interdisciplinary concepts relating to the study of ethnic minorities.

·         To promote an understanding of the ethnic diversity of American society.



Required Texts:

Ethnicity and Race, Stephen Cornell

Race and Ethnicity in the United States, Richard T. Schaefer



Week(s)                                Assignment


Section One (Understanding Ethnicity, Race and Culture)


1                                Race and Ethnicity, Chapter One                              


2-3                            Ethnicity and Race, Chapter One and Two

                                 Midterm Friday September 17th



Section Two (Understanding Ethnic Conflict)


4-5                            Race and Ethnicity, Chapter Two and Three


6                                Race and Ethnicity, Chapter 4 and 5


7                                Ethnicity and Race, Chapter 3

                                  Midterm Exam Wednesday Oct 15th   


Section Three (Contemporary Ethnic America: Empowering Ethnicities)


8-9                Ethnicity and Race, Chapter 4 and 5                         


10-11                        Ethnicity and Race, Chapter 6 and 7                         


12                  Race and Ethnicity, Chapter 6


13-14                        Ethnicity and Race, Chapter 5

                      Ethnicity and Race, Chapter 8


15                  Review


Finals Week              Final Examination (Check date in class schedule)                        


Weekly quizzes 10%                                    Friday through Sunday (weekly)

Attendance 10%                               taken daily

First Exam 15%                                September 17th,                     

Second Exam 20%                           Wednesday, October 15th, 

Group Project 20%                           Weeks 12-13  

Final Exam 25%                               Finals Week


Grading Scale.  A=100-93       B=87-84        C=77-74                           D=65-60

                           A-=92-90        B-=83-80      C-=73-70                           F=59-

                         B+=89-88       C+=79-78     D+=69-66


Section Three: Ethnic Empowerment


   The structure of group relations

                   Hierarchical ordering (racial stratification)

                   Parallel ordering (ethnic pluralism)    

Ethnic empowerment is the movement from hierarchical ordering to parallel ordering, the movement toward ethnic pluralism

In this section we will be examining how that movement was achieved. Our three main concerns are:

                   constructionist theory

                   ethnic pluralism (policy)

                   ethnic enclaves (from our six constructions sites—residential space)


          Both self ascription and ascription by others are critical factors in making ethnic identity and ethnic groups

          Ethnicity is fluid, dynamic (but unlike circumstantialism, constructionism is determined by events and activism)

          We are here reunited with our old terms of social construction and culture


Comprehensiveness of ethnic identity

          How much ethnicity effects the organization of life

                      Cultural connections

Inter marriage

Assimilation (what your author refers to as assimilation is really more complex a relationship between self ascription and ascription by others or the pull between social construction and cultural development)


Assignment and assertion

          Individual and group self determination in the development of ethnicity


                      Boundary—criteria for distinguishing between groups members (values) and non members (other group’s values)

                      Perceived position (racial stratification, perceived group differences)

                      Meaning—values, understanding, philosophy


Ethnic identity perceived as a dynamic process which entails the relationship between self ascription (cultural development) and ascription by others (social construction) and the degree to which this relationship affects boundary, perceived position and meaning within the ethnic consciousness















Shared interests—cultural, political, economic, physical

Shared institutions—organization

Shared culture—values, principles, traditions


These variables have an effect on the thickness or thinness of ethnicity


Case studies:


African American and native American identity construction

          Distinct and unique patterns

                      Comprehensive ethnic identity



                                  Native American



Problems with circumstantialist theory and integration policy


Pluralismtheory that minority groups within a society should maintain cultural differences but share overall political and economic power; allowing various ethnic groups within a society the autonomy (self determination) to develop their culture. (not segregation not multiculturalism)


        The most immediate example of ethnic pluralism exists within the United States (Native American reservations) and directly to the north of the United States in Canada. Quebec is province in Canada which maintains French autonomy within a nation dominated by Anglo American (English) culture.


Developing ethnic identity

1. social construction of race (international to national) articles (one drop rule, blood quota)

2. development of self determination (individual to group) (article dealing with self labeling,

3. the discourse of group identity (article dealing with self labeling)


Ethnic enclaves are communities in which one of our four ethnic groups predominate

                      We can talk of ethnic enclaves in terms of rural communities, urban communities and entire towns and cities (physical territory)

                      We can talk of ethnic enclaves in terms of political communities, Black Nationalism, Chicano\Latino nationalism, Indian movements, asian movements

For most groups this is more difficult to do but for a few groups there is a distinct notion of community on the national level; this notion is formed out of Ethnic conflict and functions in large part to address ethnic conflict


          Essential components of ethnic enclaves

                      Afforded groups to develop their own culturally driven methods of politics, economics and literature (foundation of economics, politics, and education) Enclaves alternatively became source of empowerment

                      Enclaves were marked by Anglo Americans as inferior (basis for impoverishment in all three areas)

                      Enclaves broken down by civil rights

                                  Lost of jobs

                                  Open to economic exploitation

                      Enclaves have recovered popularity

                                  Movement back into ethnic enclaves

                                  Buying black





Chapter 6


          Review the 6 critical construction sites



                                  Political systems and boundary maintenance

                                              Distribution of political rights defines ethnic boundaries (concrete or fluid)

                                  Forms of political organization and informal practices

                                              South African homelands/ethnicity within formal structures

                                  Political construction of ethnicity


                      Labor markets

                                  Ethnicity and occupational concentrations

                                              Ethnic division of labor

                                  Dynamics of labor concentration

                                              Coercion, timing, skills

                      Residential space

                                  Ethnicity and residential concentrations

                                              High concentration poverty

                                  Boundedeness, exhaustiveness and density

                                              Reinforcement of group boundaries


                      Social institutions

                                  Social institutions and identity salience

                                              Denial of access and search for alternative sources


                                  Effects of intermarriage on ethnicity



                                  Categories of ascription

                                              Race, class, labor

                                  Classification themes


                      Daily experience


Chapter 7


The construction of identities takes place in an interaction between, on the one hand, the opportunities and constraints groups encounter in construction sites, and on the other hand, what they bring to that encounter.


Culture as a tool of survival.

          Includes both view of selves and views of outsiders (explain)

                      Population size

                                  Significance of numbers

                                  Population size and social context

                      Internal differentiation (cultural development)

                                  Pay attention to authors note of assumption of homogeneity within outside groups but awareness of subtle differences among own group

                                  Sex (ratio, dominance, practices—circumcision)

                                  Generation (moving away from original society and inclusion in American society)

                                  Class (class construction within the United States, Chicanos)

                      Social Capital (refers to relationships among persons)—institutions (formal and informal)

                                  Institutional completeness

                                  Social capital and forms of migration


Human Capital (skills and knowledge of individuals on aggregate level)

Symbolic Repertories (ethnic paradigms)


          Ritual and celebration

          Cultural practices

          The use and growth of symbolic repertories


 Groups, Contexts, and agendas



Last updated: 09/02/2008