AES 461 A: Comparative Ethnic Race Relations in the Americas

Winter 2019
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm / ECE 037
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
SOC 461 A
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

AES/SOC 461 Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations
Mon/Wed 12:30-2:20pm
037 Electrical Engineering Building

Professor:       Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky, Assistant Professor
Appointment:  American Ethnic Studies
Office Hrs:       Monday 3-5pm and by individual appointment in A-517 Padelford* (see note at bottom of page for directions)

REVISED Course Syllabus

How do we understand race and ethnicity – their meanings, formation and practice – in a contemporary U.S.? This course examines the construction of concepts of race and ethnicity and how they manifest as race and ethnic identity and in racialized ethnic relations in the U.S. We will pay close attention to their intersection with structures of gender, class and migration to evaluate how they shape identity consciousness and their consequential impact on social, economic, political and cultural life. The meanings of these concepts are largely assumed to be understood (and misunderstood) and are part of our “common sense” - we want to create opportunities in class to challenge this common sense.

This is an upper-division course – students should be prepared to:

  1. Complete readings and assess them analytically in class discussions. Lectures will not fully cover readings, but attempt to synthesize key ideas.
  2. Advance skills in critical writing, develop sharp skills in reasoning and organizing coherent arguments.
  3. Locate, explain connections and think critically across inequalities, hierarchies and social change.
  4. Advance competency in research data collection, theories and methods, mainly from social sciences.

A basic familiarity with discourses in race, ethnicity, and gender as well as studies in labor, inequality and globalization is indeed helpful, though not required. You should be prepared to read supplementary material on your own that will support your grasp of the material. Course readings are interdisciplinary from sociology, anthropology, ethnic and critical race studies, history and socio-legal studies.

*Note:  Padelford has 3 wings: A, B and C.  The easiest way to find my office is to enter the A-wing of Padelford via the entrance nearest Hall Health. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and turn left when you exit. You'll see my office on the right side, just four office doors past the elevator.

Majoring in American Ethnic Studies:  Many students take AES courses out of interest in the topics or to fulfill general education requirements, yet do not realize how close they are to a major or even a double major. A degree in American Ethnic Studies is excellent preparation for a career in law, education, medicine, public health, social work, counseling, public policy, arts and humanities and many other careers. For more information about the major, please contact: Lorna Hamill, Academic Counselor, (206) 221-0664 or visit

Catalog Description:
Sketches the ethnoracial systems operating in American society. Studies these systems as systems and examines their institutional and interpersonal dynamics. Compares ethnoracial systems in order to arrive at empirical generalizations about race/ethnorelations in the Americas. Offered: jointly with SOC 461.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Last updated:
April 11, 2024 - 9:28 pm