The question of how diversity within the U.S. population fits with the American liberal democratic tradition defines much of the nation’s politics. Today, it comes to a head with the dramatic emergence of Latinos, Asian Americans, and other post‐1965 immigration‐based groups; groups that challenge the enduring dialectic between white privilege and African‐American privation throughout U.S. history. The goal of this course is to consider this how racial and ethnic diversity shapes our understanding of political interests, institutions, and identities in the United States, and vice-versa. The substantive topics range from debates about the persistence of racism, the rights of citizenship, the incorporation of plural democratic interests, current debates over public policy, and the like. Course readings span multiple disciplines—most often from political science, but with forays into law, sociology, psychology, history, and philosophy. This is a graduate seminar organized around intensive weekly readings, culminating in an original research paper.
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