Dec 04, 2023  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024
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SOCY 2550 - Race & Ethnic Relations

Credit Hours: 3.00

Prerequisites: None

SOCY 2550 introduces students to the status of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States with particular reference to the social dynamics involved with regard to majority‑minority relations. Emphasis is on the culture, social organization and status, and the problems and opportunities of various ethnic groups. Topics covered include inequality, segregation, pluralism, the nature and causes of prejudice and discrimination, and the impact that such patterns have on American life.

Billable Contact Hours: 3

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Outcome 1:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate an introductory knowledge of key concepts in cultural diversity in the study of Race and Ethnic Relations.


  1. Identify the factors that determine dominant and subordinate groups.
  2. Explain the complexity and the social importance of race and describe/explain how race is socially constructed.
  3. Explain the sociological perspectives regarding intergroup relations and explain the processes that create dominant/subordinate groups.
  4. Identify the impact of globalization on race and ethnic relations.
  5. Define race and ethnicity, and identify their similarities and differences.
  6. Demonstrate application of the conflict perspective to the study of race and ethnicity.
  7. Define the following concepts: cultural pluralism, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, assimilation, and multiculturalism.

Outcome 2:

Demonstrate an overall knowledge of the social impact of prejudice and discrimination.


  1. Explain the concepts of prejudice and discrimination.
  2. Identify the social impact of prejudice and discrimination.
  3. List,define and explain the various theories and explanations of prejudice.
  4. Explain the intersectional and matrix approach to studying racial and ethnic inequality.

Outcome 3:

Demonstrate an overall knowledge of racial and ethnic groups.


  1. Describe the impact of how race,and ethnicity influence people’s life chances.
  2. Explain how current race and ethnic relations are influenced by the historical treatment of minorities.
  3. List the key components of the historical struggle for equality in the United States.
  4. Identify and explain the historical and current effect of immigration on race and ethnic relations in the United States.
  5. Describe the role of language in race and ethnic relations.
  6. Identify the function of family in the passing of cultural, religious and historical concepts of racial and ethnic identities.
  7. Provide examples of contemporary issues affecting minority groups in the U.S.

Outcome 4:

Demonstrate an overall knowledge of the role of religion in Race and Ethnic Relations.


  1. Explain the role religion plays in race and ethnic relations.
  2. Identify the stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination religion minorities’ experience.
  3. Define religions role in creating an ethnic identity.
  4. Describe the impact of religion and class influence people’s life chances.
  5. Explain how/why religious diversity can affect social acceptance.
  6. Explain the concept of religion as an ethnic identity.

Outcome 5:

Demonstrate an overall knowledge of the status of other minority groups.


  1. Identify and describe how people are identified as being a part of a minority group besides their racial and ethnic identifites (women, mentally or physically disabled, based on sexual orientation or gender identification, the aged).
  2. Explain the historical struggles of these minority groups in terms of prejudice and discrimination and the impact it has on their life chances and also, the social impact on society.
  3. Describe how and why prejudice and discrimination perpetuate inequalities between the dominant groups and these minority groups.
  4. Identify the different movements that have improved the social and/or economic conditions of these minority groups.

Outcome 6:

Demonstrate an overall knowledge of the issue of diversity in the world and the steps being taken to achieve multiculturalism.


  1. Compare and contrast prejudice and discrimination in other countries (world) to the United States.
  2. Explain ethno‐national conflicts and their global impact.
  3. Describe the effect of colonialism on current race and ethnic relations.
  4. Explain the origins and purposes of affirmative action programs.
  5. Depict the global nature of dominant‐subordinate relations along dimensions of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender.
  6. List and describe the social impact of the numerous rights movements. Who did the movement help and why?

  • Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
  • Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
  • Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
  • Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
  • Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.
CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. Understanding Race and Ethnicity Overview
    1. Factors that determines a dominant and a subordinate group.
    2. The role of power and privilege in relations between a minority and a majority.
    3. The four types of subordinate groups.
    4. The complexity and the social importance of race.
    5. How race is socially constructed.
    6. Different sociological perspectives regarding intergroup relations
    7. The importance of the processes that creates dominant/subordinate groups.
  2. Prejudice Overview
    1. Hate crimes and the current trends of hate crimes.
    2. How prejudice plays a role in perceptions of people seen as racially different.
    3. Similarities and differences between prejudice and discrimination.
    4. Theories and explanations of prejudice, including exploitation theory, scapegoat theory, authoritarian personality theory, and normative theory.
    5. Prejudice including stereotypes, racial profiling, and current trends in stereotypes.
    6. The mood of the oppressed and examine intergroup hostility.
    7. Possibilities that lead to a reduction of prejudice between groups.
    8. Potential employers respond to ethnic‐sounding names.
    9. Different ways to fight hate.
  3. Discrimination Overview
    1. Explanations of why discrimination occurs.
    2. Institutional factors that perpetuates inequality.
    3. Consequences of low‐wage labor, including how a large portion of racial and ethnic minorities are among the working poor.
    4. Factors that can exacerbate one’s subordinate status.
    5. Origins and purposes of affirmative action programs.
    6. Ways in which members of subordinate groups respond to situations of institutional discrimination.
  4. Immigration and the United States Overview
    1. How immigration is a global phenomenon.
    2. History and patterns of immigration in the United States.
    3. The evolution of laws concerning immigration to the United States.
    4. Common stereotypes about immigrants.
    5. Characteristics of today’s foreign‐born immigrant population in the United States.
    6. Distinction between legal and illegal immigration, the roles that immigrants play in the United States economy and what our society would be like without illegal immigrants.
    7. Economic impact of immigration in the United States.
    8. Government’s policy toward refugees and asylees
  5. Ethnicity and Religion Overview
    1. How religion and ethnicity contribute to defining identity.
    2. Different sociological perspectives regarding the origins and functions of ethnicity in the United States.
    3. Formation of Whiteness as an identity, and the experiences of White ethnics in the United States.
    4. How race, religion, ethnicity, and class influence people’s life chances.
    5. Religious diversity in the United States.
    6. Price paid by White ethnics in the Unite d States.
  6. The Native Americans Overview
    1. Historical interactions between Europeans and Native Americans.
    2. History of legislation targeting Native Americans.
    3. Federal policies affect life on reservations.
    4. Pan‐Indianism and how Native Americans today address issues of economic development, education, health care, religious and spiritual expression, and the environment.
    5. Role of sovereignty in Native‐American tribal self‐rule.
    6. Treaties and warfare and the consequences of each.
    7. Native American Legal Claims, the Termination Act, and the Employment Assistance Program.
    8. Collective action efforts through pan‐indianism and protest efforts.
    9. The Navajo Way.
  7. The Making of African Americans in a White America Overview
    1. History of African Americans from colonial times through 2007.
    2. Origins of slavery and its continuing impact on Black‐White relations.
    3. Causes and nature of protest movements against racial inequality.
    4. Diversity of Black leaders? approaches to the problem of inequality.
    5. Role of religion in the struggle for racial equality in the United States.
    6. Long history of Sundown Towns where non‐Whites could work and spend their money but not live.
  8. African Americans Today Overview
    1. Impact of segregation on African American education.
    2. Effects of low‐income, prejudice, and discrimination on life for contemporary African Americans.
    3. Current economic situation of African Americans.
    4. Strengths, weaknesses, and unique challenges of African American families.
    5. Causes and effects of residential segregation.
    6. Problems facing the African American community in areas such as criminal justice (including the implementation of the death penalty), health care, and policics.
    7. The assertion that some African American youth do poorly in school because they do not want to “act White.”
  9. Hispanic Americans Overview
    1. Diversity of the Latino America n or Hispanic population in the United States.
    2. Important elements of Hispanic identity.
    3. Significance of language to Latino American identity as well as the key components of the debates surrounding this issue.
    4. An introductory view of the economic picture of Latinos as a group.
    5. Significance of the borderlands to Mexicans and Mexican Americans as well as other Hispanic groups.
    6. Experiences of Cuban immigrants to the United States and the issues they face as they remain in this country.
    7. Diversity of experiences of Central and South American immigrants to the United States and the possibilities f or future generations of these immigrants.
  10. Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans Overview
    1. Similarities and differences between the experiences of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in the United States.
    2. Factors influencing the immigration of Mexicans to the United States.
    3. Unique relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States and h ow this affects Puerto Ricans.
    4. Situation of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in the United States in regard to education, economic opportunities, family life, access to health care, involvement in politics, and religion.
  11. Muslim and Arab Americans: Diverse Minorities Overview
    1. Diversity of Muslim and Arab people in the United States.
    2. Arab Americans and the characteristics of their communities.
    3. Muslim Americans and the characteristics of their communities.
    4. Experiences of Muslim and Arab immigrants to the United States.
    5. Muslim and Arab family life, gender, education, and politics in the United States.
    6. Experience of anti‐Arab and anti‐Muslim feelings on Muslim and Arab Americans.
    7. Current issues of prejudice and discrimination toward Arab and Muslim Americans.
  12. Asian Americans: Growth and Diversity Overview
    1. Experience of Asian Americans in general and the experiences of Koreans, Filipinos, Asian Indians and refugees from Southeast Asia more specifically.
    2. Image of the ?model minority? and how this stereotype impacts the life chances of Asian Americans.
    3. Political efforts of different Asian American populations, as well as an understanding of some of the reasons for their lack of political participation.
    4. Experiences of Filipino immigrants to the United States and the unique limitations that this group of Asian American’s face.
    5. Issues faced by Asian Indian immigrants to the United States.
    6. Experiences of refugees and other immigrants from Southeast Asia and the current issues they face.
    7. Ways in which Korean Americans have worked to move out of their subordinate status.
    8. Hawaii and its people, understanding the factors that lead to its diversity as well as the issues that such diversity presents.
  13. Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans Overview
    1. Present‐day Chinese Americans are descendants of both pre‐Exclusion Act immigrants and those who immigrated afer World War II.
    2. Occupational profile of Chinese Americans.
    3. What life is like inside Chinatown.
    4. Family and religious life of Chinese Americans.
    5. Migration of Chinese people to the United States.
    6. Historical situation of Japanese Americans in the United States.
    7. Japanese Americans encountered discrimination and ill treatment in the early twentieth century.
    8. Wartime evacuation experience of Japanese Americans during World War II.
    9. Economic picture of Japanese Americans today.
    10. Family and religious life of Japanese Americans.
    11. Remnants of prejudice and discrimination of Chinese and Japanese Americans in the United States.
  14. Jewish Americans: Quest to Maintain Identy Overview
    1. Jewish people are an ethnic group.
    2. Identity rests not on the presence o f physical traits or religious beliefs but on a sense of belonging that is tied to Jewish ancestry.
    3. Distinctive aspects of the Jewish population.
    4. Migration patterns of Jewish people to the U .S. and how this has influenced the formation of a Jewish identity.
    5. Origins and impacts of anti‐Semitism on the lives and culture of Jewish people.
    6. Anti‐Semitism inside and outside of the United States.
    7. Present situation of Jewish people in the United States with regard to their employment, education, organizational activity, and political activity.
    8. Religious life of Jewish Americans focusing on both the Orthodox tradition and Reform tradition.
    9. Importance of the role of the family, the role of religion, and the role of cultural heritage in forming Jewish identity and Jewish culture in the United States.
  15. Women: The Oppressed Majority Overview
    1. Women are an oppressed group even though they form the numerical majority.
    2. Similarities between women and racial and ethnic groups.
    3. Socialization has an impact on the development and perception of gender roles.
    4. Impact of gender roles in perpetuating inequalities between men and women.
    5. Conflict theory, functional theory, and labeling theory explain gender role socialization.
    6. Historical and contemporary concerns of the feminist movement.
    7. Current economic picture of women.
    8. Issues and sources of discrimination and sexual harassment geared toward women.
    9. Concept of the feminization of poverty.
    10. Experience of women in education and how it is similar to their experience in the labor force.
    11. Present situation of family life for women, including the areas of child care and housework and abortion.
    12. Political activity of women.
    13. Matrix of domination applied to minority women.
  16. Beyond the United States: The Comparative Perspective Overview
    1. Subordinating people because of race, nationality, or religion is not a phenomenon unique to the United States; it occurs throughout the world.
    2. World systems theory and ethno national conflicts.
    3. How racial and ethnic differences differ from society to society, focusing on Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Israel, and the Republic of South Africa.
    4. Status of women on a global level and how the global level compares to the status of women in the United States.
    5. Social construction of race through the application of the color gradient.
    6. Issues of identity and culture both unify and divide communities and nations using Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Israel, and the Republic of South Africa.
    7. Foundations of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians as well as consider the likelihood of resolution to this conflict.
    8. Impact of colonialism and apartheid on current race relations in the Republic of South Africa.
    9. Global nature of dominant‐subordinate relations along dimensions of race, ethnicity, religion, and gender.
  17. Overcoming Exclusion Overview
    1. Experience of social disadvantage if not limited to groups defined by race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
    2. How the elderly are still a group at a disadvantage, given the ageism in our society.
    3. How and why older people in the United States are subject to a paradox.
    4. Advocacy efforts by the elderly.
    5. Process and consequences of labeling the disabled.
    6. Ways in which people with disabilities have sought t o achieve both respect and opportunities.
    7. How the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a significant step forward.
    8. Advocacy efforts by the disabled.
    9. How long‐term homophobia has made it a challenge for gays and lesbians to go about their lives.
    10. Advocacy efforts for gay and lesbian rights.
    11. Even though there has been progress made for each of these groups, as well as the racial and ethnic minorities discussed earlier, there still remains a full agenda for further progress.

Primary Faculty
Dyer, Brigit
Secondary Faculty
Kingrey, Bryan
Associate Dean
Williams-Chehmani, Angie
Pritchett, Marie

Primary Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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