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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2007

SOC 308 • Difficult Dialogues: Race/Policy

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47560 M
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
CPE 2.206
HUMMER

Course Description

As one of the special Difficult Dialogue Forum Seminars sponsored by UT's Connexus Program and partially funded by the Ford Foundation, this seminar seeks to examine and discuss racial and ethnic inequality in the United States and to have a dialogue regarding the extent to which social policy should address racial and ethnic inequalities in contemporary society, particularly in the arena of higher education. We will tackle these issues through: 1) reading about the history and unfolding of racial and ethnic inequalities; 2) reading about what affirmative action is and what court cases regarding affirmative action have decided; and 3) respectful dialogue with one another and a series of faculty members interested in these issues across a number of disciplines. A significant component of the course will also be dedicated to understanding what academic freedom is and how is helps to provide a context for the issues that we will be reading about and discussing in class. A final goal for the course will be for students to learn how to more effectively discuss a controversial issue like racial and ethnic inequality, along with policy options, in a respectful, thoughtful, and academically informed manner.

Texts

America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Volumes 1 and 2, edited by N. Smelser, et al. 2001, National Academies Press

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