RACE AND CLASS IN LOS ANGELES
: Professor Robin D. G. Kelley
Mondays 1:30 – 3:00, Wed., 12:30 – 1:30
: Laura Fugikawa, Margaret Salazar, Terrion Williamson
: Mon and Wed., 10:00-11:50am -
What is Los Angeles?
The glitter of Hollywood?
The glamour of Beverly Hills?
Disneyland’s utopia or South Central’s dystopia?
City of Angels or the City of Compton?
Sunshine or smog?
Is L.A. the nation’s largest barrio?
The gateway for “illegal”
The leader of the Pacific Rim or the leader of homelessness?
A city reputed for
its freedom of expression or police repression?
Is it the land of sprawl and freeways and
It is all of these things, and the diverse communities who populate Los Angeles
are the connective tissue linking these different worlds together.
Although L.A. is one of the
most residentially segregated cities in the country, capitalism, globalization, the criminal justice
system, law, housing policy, popular culture, etc., bind varying groups of people together
across lines of race, class and gender.
The purpose of this course is to examine L.A.’s diverse population, not as isolated,
discrete groups but in relation to one another.
The city and its environs serves as our laboratory
for understanding class, race, gender, political economy, and most importantly, power.
will examine, among other things, how the hierarchies of race and class are produced and
reproduced, how gender, ethnicity, nationality, and citizenship shape people’s experience, and
how aggrieved communities fight back.
Lectures and discussion sections are mandatory and we will take attendance.
note that the lectures will supplement the reading rather than repeat what you’ve already been assigned.
The final grade will be based on a take-home midterm examination, a final take-home exam, a research
project, and class participation.
The two exams will each be worth 25% of your grade; the research
project is worth 30%; and class participation will make up the remaining 20% of your final grade.
generally do not tolerate late papers without a plausible excuse.
Late papers will be docked one-half of