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Learning Resources

Required Readings

Review the Course Preview and read the Course Introduction

Rosenblum, K. E., & Travis T. C. (2016). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexuality, and disability (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Section I, “Framework Essay”
  • Section I, Reading 1, “‘Race’ and the Construction of Human Identity”
  • Section I, Reading 4, “Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America”
  • Section I, Reading 7, “Whiteness as an ‘Unmarked’ Cultural Category”
  • Section I, Reading 3, “The Evolution of Identity”

Select one of the following articles to review for your Application this week. (You do not need to read them all.)

Adeleke, O. A., Bamidele, R., & Omokeji, R. (2014). Indigenous capitalist class, social stratification, and life chances in contemporary Nigeria society. Public Policy and Administration Research, 4(7), 11–15. Retrieved from http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/PPAR/artic…

Birkelund, G. E., & Lemel, Y. (2013). Lifestyles and social stratification: An explorative study of France and Norway. Retrieved from https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-0087045…

BBC. (2016). What is India’s caste system? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35650616

Mukherjee, R. (2000). Caste in itself, caste and class, or caste in class. Journal of World-Systems Research, 6(2). doi:10.5195/jwsr.2000.229. Retrieved from http://jwsr.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/jwsr/article/vi…

Rankin, B., Ergin, M., & Göksen, F. (2014). A cultural map of Turkey. Cultural Sociology, 8(2), 159–179. doi:10.1177/1749975513494878

Discussion Spark – United States Census

The U.S. Census is a population survey designed to count the number of people residing in the United States (citizen and non-citizen alike), along with various types of demographic data about them, such as age, sex, race, and homeownership rates. The purpose of the Census is to apportion seats in the House of Representatives. (Increases or decreases in state populations result in gaining or losing seats in the House.) It is also used to plan public works projects and plan for emergency relief, disease control, and labor initiatives.
Before you explore this week’s topics of racial and ethnic identity construction and social class, consider how racial and ethnic data is collected in the United States through the Census. Does the Census capture the data accurately and fairly? Is it even important to collect data about race and ethnicity? After you complete this week, you are encouraged to revisit your Spark answer to see if your thoughts and beliefs have evolved regarding this issue.
To prepare for this Spark:

  • Examine the U.S. Census form and locate the questions that pertain to race and ethnicity.

By Day 2

Post your thoughts about the way the United States collects information about race and ethnicity on the Census form. In addition, what would you keep the same about the way race and ethnicity information is collected? What would you change?

Note: Spark Discussions are intended to generate ideas and spark thoughts before you review the week’s Learning Resources or begin your Application. For this reason, your responses may be briefer than a regular Discussion post and are due on Day 2 (unlike regular Discussion posts which are due on Day 3). A response post is not required to your Spark p

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