Center on Race and Social Problems

Courses on Race and Social Problems

Spring 2017 Courses on Race and Social Problems

Gender, Race, Class, And Crime ADMJ 1242 (3 cr)
Scahill, Meghan C
Gender, race and class are overlapping categories of experience that affect all aspects of life. There is perhaps no other context in which the effects of gender, race and class are as acutely evident as in the criminal justice system. That is, the people who are processed through the criminal justice system are disproportionately male, nonwhite, and from the lower classes. This class is designed to examine the cumulative and interlocking effects of gender, race, and class on crime. This is a CGS Web course with web based (BlackBoard) instruction and weekly online interaction is required. Students must have reliable internet access to take this course.

Sex, Race, & Popular Culture GSWS 0200 (3 cr)
Crosby, Emily Deering
Popular culture is often defined as a collection of ideas, images, beliefs and practices that have become an essential component of peoples' daily lives. While popular culture is dismissed by some as merely a mass consumer culture, others acknowledge that contemporary popular cultural forms may, in keeping with a history of once contemporary popular art, culture, and literature (e.g. Dickens, Warhol, etc.) Come to be understood as essential, canonical and elite. Ultimately, these materials may be read as a texts that inform our understanding of culture and social life and prompt such questions as: how does popular culture (re)construct our sense of "ordinary" life as something extraordinary? Why are some cultural forms dismissed and others more readily accepted? What social processes bring cultural forms into the public domain? This course will examine popular culture in a variety of forms such as: music, art, television, collectibles, internet, and social media. Students will consider examples from Western, non-Western, and "global" culture, but will use sex and sexuality, gender, and ideas of race to understand the relationship between popular culture, material culture, representation, and consumerism, and power and resistance. It will also address these phenomenon over time. This course will make especially strong use of contemporary and popular media such as video clips, internet media and images, and music.

Race: History, Biology, Psychology, Philosophy HPS 1602 (3 cr)
Thompson, Morgan
 The goal of this course is to help students gain a thorough understanding of the issues raised by races and racism. Such understanding can only be gained by bringing together several disciplines in an interdisciplinary manner. Thus, we will examine issues about race and racism that arise from biology, history, philosophy, and psychology. Non-philosophers are welcome. Students with training and expertise in related areas outside of philosophy are strongly encouraged to attend. Prior acquaintance with the philosophy of race is not presupposed. In particular, we will examine the following questions: Where does the concept of race come from? Is it a recent historical invention? How is and ought race be represented in natural history museum exhibits? How has the concept of race influenced the sciences? Does genetics show that races are real? Why are racial categories used in medicine? What are races? What is racism? How does race contribute to one's identity? Why do we think racially? Are there differences in intelligence between races? Should our policies be color-blind? Is some particular concept of race necessary for political and social opposition to racism? The course aims to provide you with the tools and concepts to think about race and racism in a nuanced and reflective way. Students with a variety of views on the topics such as realists, antirealists, agnostics, and “undecided” about the reality of race are equally welcome. The course aims to encourage the critical assessment of your prior understanding of ‘race’ and ‘racism’ as well as engaged and respectful discussion of issues relevant to our everyday lives.0

Race and The City SOC 1286 (3 cr)
Hiers, Wesley Jonathan
This course offers a historical and contemporary look at racial inequality in the United States through the lens of the city. As large-scale, concentrated spaces of wealth accumulation, poverty, habitation, education, social control, and, periodically, counter-hegemonic social mobilization, cities are and have been major sites of inequality generation and amelioration. With its abiding focus on how “the state” and “the market” combine to determine “who gets what, how, and why,” this course takes a political economy approach to race-making in urban America. More specifically, we will explore the racial, political, and economic dimensions of a number of topics, including the policies and processes related to urban redevelopment, housing, education, and policing. This course will give considerably more attention to the city of Pittsburgh than is reflected in the general literature on urban sociology and race relations. <

Fall 2016 Courses on Race and Social Problems

Gender, Race, Class, and Crime ADMJ 1242 (3 cr)
Walker, Deborah L  
Gender, race and class are overlapping categories of experience that affect all aspects of life. There is perhaps no other context in which the effects of gender, race and class are as acutely evident as in the criminal justice system. That is, the people who are processed through the criminal justice system are disproportionately male, nonwhite, and from the lower classes. This class is designed to examine the cumulative and interlocking effects of gender, race, and class on crime.

Race & Racism In Education & Society ADMPS 2050 (3 cr)
Milner, Henry R  
This course focuses on issues of equity in education based upon the divisions of American society by social constructs of "race". The course is designed to expose students to conceptual frameworks of culture, society, race, class and gender from the social sciences and humanities for understanding the experiences of subordinated minority groups in school and society. The practical problems of social and school reform in American communities and schools will be addressed.

Race & Racism In Education & Society EDUC 2103 (3 cr)
Milner, Henry R 
This course focuses on issues of equity in education based upon the divisions of American society by social constructs of "race". The course is designed to expose students to conceptual frameworks of culture, society, race, class and gender from the social sciences and humanities for understanding the experiences of subordinated minority groups in school and society. The practical problems of social and school reform in American communities and schools will be addressed.

Race And Social Problems SWGEN 2080 (3 cr)
Huguley, James P.  
Students will learn about race-related social problems, explanations for the problems, and possible solutions.  Readings and class discussions will cover race as an issue in relation to economic and education disparities, intergroup relations, mental health, families, and criminal justice.<

Summer 2016 Courses on Race and Social Problems

Sex, Race, & Popular Culture GSWS 0200 (3 cr)
Crosby, Emily Deering
  Popular culture is often defined as a collection of ideas, images, beliefs and practices that have become an essential component of peoples’ daily lives. While popular culture is dismissed by some as merely a mass consumer culture, others acknowledge that contemporary popular cultural forms may, in keeping with a history of once contemporary popular art, culture, and literature (e.g. Dickens, Warhol, etc.) come to be understood as essential, canonical and elite. Ultimately, these materials may be read as a text that informs our understanding of culture and social life and prompts such questions as: How does popular culture (re)construct our sense of “ordinary” life as something extraordinary? Why are some cultural forms dismissed and others more readily accepted? What social processes bring cultural forms into the public domain? This course will examine popular culture in a variety of forms such as: music, art, television, collectibles, Internet, and social media. Students will consider examples from Western, non-Western, and “global” culture, but will use sex and sexuality, gender, and ideas of race to understand the relationship between popular culture, material culture, representation, and consumerism, and power and resistance. It will also address these phenomenon over time. This course will make especially strong use of contemporary and popular media such as video clips, Internet media and images, and music.

Race and the City SOC 1286
Bangs, Ralph and Duck, Waverly
Race in the City is a course that focuses on the socio-cultural, political, and historical constructions of race in America. This course will address a number of misunderstood issues in a systematic fashion with regards to race, particularly: racialized identities, immigration, affirmative action, segregation, political representation, affluence, educational inequality, incarceration, terrorism, cultural appropriation and civil society. Both national and Pittsburgh area conditions will be emphasized. The goal of the course is to provide students from diverse racial, ethnic and class backgrounds an opportunity to learn from and with each other about issues of racial and class conflict and common ground in an atmosphere of openness and mutual engagement and respect. An emphasis on the historical development of transportation, urban development, segregation, manufacturing, governance, culture and inequality with regards to race, class and gender will be discussed. Popular representations of people of color in the US will be examined. Other issues explored include how race is related to education, employment, health, and housing, incarceration, and wealth disparities. Contemporary and traditional literature will be considered and discussed