HC444H/431H - Reading Inequality in America Through the Lens of Ethnography and Fiction

Professor: Ellen Scott

4.00 credits

  • CRN 25303: Monday & Wednesday, 8:30-9:50am @ CHA 301

This country was founded on principles of inequality, despite aspirations otherwise stated in the Constitution. In the generations since, the fundamental inequalities based on race, gender and class, as well as other bases of difference and identity, remain foundational to our society. While the way social inequality is exercised and enforced has changed, the fact of our society being built on a bedrock of inequality has persisted, and class inequality is greater now than at any time in the history of this nation. In this course, we will read about the structures and experiences of race, gender and class inequality in the United States through ethnographies, sociological sources that rely on in-depth, rich data to examine complex social conditions. We will also read one novel that illuminates the experiences of Latin American immigrants. In this class, by engaging a structural analysis, we challenge the dominant individualist framework for understanding inequality in the US. 

Graduation Requirement: This class will fulfill a Social Science Colloquium and the US: Difference, Inequality, Agency (US) cultural literacy requirement.  If the student has already taken a Social Science Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements: an Elective Colloquium and the US: Difference, Inequality, Agency (US) cultural literacy requirement.