Micropolitics of Race
This class explores racialized experiences and controversies that affect daily life in the United States. We use insights from sociology to analyze racial identity and public behavior. For example, why do many people of color often “code-switch” as they move from interacting with family and friends and into their workplace? Why are some black people accustomed to giving “the nod” to other black people they encounter in majority-white spaces? Why are many native-born Asian-Americans told that they “speak really good English” (what sociologists would call a microaggression)? We also explore controversies, including interracial dating, gentrification, “transracial” individuals, and Elizabeth Warren’s Native American identity claims. We will situate our analyses of the everyday politics of race within institutional and structural racism.