ANTH 220 Race and Racism

This course is an introduction to the structures of oppression (gender, race, sexuality, and class) as we examine the social construction of race and lived realities of racism. Race is a biological fallacy but racism is a social reality. In this course we will not define race as a physical state, but rather as a concept that is part of the socio-colonial imaginary, deployed for particular social, political, and economic ends. Racial difference fundamentally relies on anti-blackness, and, thus, normative whiteness is an often-unnamed construct that contributes to structures of privilege through law and culture. Race and racism are interconnected with other identity formations such as class, gender, sexuality, physical ability, and ethnicity that sustain structural inequalities even as formal legal racism has eased. The course examines everyday aspects of society, including (but not limited to) social structures, media, law, language, history, religion, philosophy, science, and the arts. The course will better prepare you for upper-level coursework in areas both specifically and tangentially related to the social sciences, as well as hone the invaluable critical thinking and complex communication skills needed beyond the walls of the classroom. In keeping with these course goals, creativity, mutual respect for and engagement of subjective and cultural differences, and a healthy intellectual curiosity are not just encouraged, but expected.



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