Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SOC 232

       Course Name: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommended: SOC 101, SOC 103 or SSC 101

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines history and contemporary landscape of race and ethnicity in American society. Content includes an historical context of race, the evolution of racial ideologies, racial inequality and institutions (education, employment, healthcare, criminal justice system, housing, and the environment), resisting racial injustice, and a comparative look at global ideas of race and racisms.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the sociohistorical factors associated with the status and treatment of ethnic and racial groups in the United States and in other countries.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding how race and ethnicity intersect with other dimensions of inequality (i.e. class, gender).
  3. Explain the connections between race and significant social institutions such as education, employment, family, media, and the criminal justice system.
  4. Analyze the usefulness of social actions attempting to bring about greater racial and ethnic equality in the U.S.
  5. Communicate the sociological view of race and ethnicity effectively with others through in-class group discussions, peer-led discussions, oral presentations, and/or written assignments.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Historical Overview
    1. Origin of the idea of race
    2. Race, ethnicity, and citizenship in the US during the 19th and 20th centuries
  2. Racial ideologies from 1920s- present
  3. The evolution of racial and ethnic groups
  4. Race, ethnicity, and institutions
    1. Education
    2. Work
    3. Housing
    4. The environment
    5. Policing and prison
    6. Criminal justice system
    7. Media
    8. Family
    9. Healthcare
  5. Globalization, immigration, and citizenship
  6. Contesting racial and ethnic injustice

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative text may include:

Golash-Boza, Tanya. 2015. Race & Racisms: A Critical Approach. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dalmage, Heather and Barbara Katz-Rothman. 2011. Race in an Era of Change: A Reader. New York: Oxford University Press.

Emerson, Michael O., Bratter, Jenifer L. and Sergio Chávez. 2017. (Un)Making Race and Ethnicity: A Reader. New York: Oxford University Press.

Additional readings from relevant journals, magazines, newspapers, and public documents may be assigned as appropriate.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The method of evaluation is at the discretion of the instructor within the guidelines provided by the college. Exams may include short answer, objective, or essay type questions.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.