DL_AM_Course_Introduction_Fall2012 - /Fall2012...

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American Minorities – DL Echevarria‐Cruz/Fall 2012 COURSE INTRODUCTION This course is titled “American Minorities” and yet the term “minority” is problematic: In popular usage the term is generally used to refer to groups that are small in number (a numerical minority) and to racial/ethnic groups specifically. In sociology the term connotes differences in power and privilege, so that “minority” is often used synonymously with “subordinate” and “majority” is interchangeable with “dominant.” For example, women represent a minority group in the United States even though, in sheer numbers, there are more women in this country than men; In South Africa under Apartheid, Black outnumbered Whites but were (and in many ways continue to be) a minority. We will be using the term in this sociological sense. We will be examining relations of dominance and subordination primarily along the lines of race/ethnicity, class and gender (with some attention also paid to sexuality and disabilities).
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