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

Spring 2010

SOC 308 • Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality in American Society-Honors

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46235 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
BUR 231

Course Description

This course examines the interplay of gender, race, social class, and sexuality in American society. Drawing on lectures, readings, and films, we will explore how gender, race, class, and sexuality operate not simply as ways of categorizing people, but as interrelated differences and inequalities that shape people's life experiences and life chances. We will start by examining gender, race, class, and sexuality from a sociological perspective - as social constructions that have very real consequences for the opportunities people have and the challenges they face. We will then focus our attention on the relationships among them – how gender, race, class, and sexuality intersect to shape individual experiences. The second part of the course turns to examining how these differences and inequalities matter in the realms of mass media, family life, education, the criminal justice system, and employment. We will end with a discussion of social change, paying particular attention to the role of social movements in enacting change.

Grading Policy

Exams (40%): Grades in the class will be based on two examinations worth 20 percent each of the final grade. Examinations will be short answer format. Make-up examinations will be given only to those absent for university-approved reasons, and must be conducted within one week of the exam date.

Writing Assignments (50%): Another 50 percent of the grade will be based on 5 short written assignments worth 10 percent each, which will be distributed in class and posted on Blackboard the week before their due date. Papers turned in after 2:00 p.m. on the day they are due will be considered late and docked one full letter grade. Late papers will be docked another letter grade each day they are late.

In-class quizzes (10%): The remaining 10 percent of the grade will be based on periodic in-class quizzes based on the reading for the week. These assignments will not be announced in advance: You must be present in class the day of the assignment to receive it. These assignments will be completed and due in class. Missed assignments cannot be made up, but one assignment will be dropped to account for unavoidable absences.

Final grades will be based upon a standard grading scale: A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% and below. For students taking the course on a pass/fail basis, a grade of D (60% or better) is passing for undergraduate credit.


Newman, David, Identities and Inequalities: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, McGraw-Hill, 2007
Ore, Tracy E., The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill. 2009


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