Department of
Political Science


Online Readings


101 Gowen Hall, Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
Ph: 206-616-3584

POL S 555: Am Pol Graduate Seminar
Minority Political Behavior

Monday 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm, Smith Hall 109

Professor: Matt A. Barreto
Office: Gowen 148
Office Hours: By appointment

Course Description:

This is a graduate seminar for students interested in race, ethnicity, and gender, and how minority group identity influences political behavior. We will cover research on African American, Latino, Asian American, and Anglo political participation, however the course will not be limited to only these topics. We will take up the role of religious ethnic minorities as well as gender and sexuality as each impacts the political development, attitudes, and behavior in American politics.

This class will examine the history and contemporary role of racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. political system. We will focus on political relationships among and between minorities as they relate to political participation, party affiliation, and public opinion more generally. For the first 200 years of its history, the United States passed laws to restrict the rights of racial and ethnic minorities to purposely keep them outside the political system. In recent years, there has been a growing trend by political parties and politicians to court minority voters and promote diversity. Why is this the case? Is this real outreach or symbolic politics? During this quarter we will take up this debate and explore the current state of racial and ethnic politics in the U.S.

While we will review all relevant theories in minority politics, this specific course will take a closer look at the theory of linked fate and group consciousness. For many years, scholars observed that minorities tended to have lower levels of resources that helped promote civic participation, yet they still participated at higher than expected rates. Soon the idea of linked fate or group consciousness was thought of as a group-based resource that had empowering effects. We will explore the roots of these concepts and how well they apply to different groups today.

All participants will be expected to identify a research paper topic early on, and all students circulating one-page single spaced overview of their topic by the start of week 3. We will provide feedback to each other in class, and work towards a final end-of-quarter research paper in the 25-page range (double spaced). In addition to the research paper, students will be expected to come to class prepared to have a rich discussion on the weekly readings. One person will serve as discussion leader each week, and all other participants will be prepared with three key questions about the readings to share in class.

Course Outline: (subject to change)

Week 1 – March 31	Introductions

Week 2 – April 7	Group Consciousness
Miller, Gurin, Gurin, Malanchuk, 1981, “Group Consciousness and Political Participation.” AJPS 25(3): 494-511

Uhlaner, 1989, “Relational goods and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action.” Public Choice. 62(3): 253-285.

Gurin, Miller, Gurin. 1980. “Stratum identification and Consciousness.” Social Psychology Quarterly. 43(1): 30-47.

Week 3 – April 14	Linked Fate
Dawson, 1994, Behind the Mule, Princeton University Press. // Chapters 1 – 4 

Week 4 – April 21	Linked Fate
Dawson, 1994, Behind the Mule, Princeton University Press. // Chapters 5 – 9 

Week 5 – April 28	Measurement issues in identity
McClain, Carew, Walton, Watts. 2009. “Group Membership, Group Identity and Group Consciousness,” Annual Review of Political Science. 12: 471-485

Gay, 2004. “Putting race in context: Identifying the environmental determinants of Black racial attitudes.” American Political Science Review. 98(4): 547-562

Week 6 – May 5	Latino Political Behavior
Stokes, 2003. “Latino group consciousness and political participation.” American Politics Research

Sanchez, 2006, “The role of group consciousness in Latino public opinion.” Political Research Quarterly.

Sanchez, 2006. “The role of group consciousness in political participation among Latinos in the United States.” American Politics Research

Week 7 – May 12	Asian American Political Behavior
Masuoka, 2006. “Together they become one: Examining predictors of panethnic group consciousness among Asian Americans and Latinos.” Social Science Quarterly.

Junn & Masuoka, 2008. “Asian American identity: Shared racial status and political context” Perspectives on Politics.

Wong, Ramakrishnan, Lee, Junn. 2011. “National Origin, Pan-Ethnicity and Racial Identity.” In Asian American Political Participation. Russell Sage Press.

Week 8 – May 19	Group empowerment and participation
Bobo and Gilliam, 1990. “Race, sociopolitical participation and black empowerment.” American Political Science Review.

Barreto, 2007. “Si Se Puede! Latino candidates and the mobilization of Latino voters.” American Political Science Review. 

Gay, 2001. “The effect of Black congressional representation on political participation”

Barreto, Segura & Woods. 2004. “The Effects of overlapping majority-minority districts on Latino turnout.” American Political Science Review. 

Week 9 – May 26	Muslim Americans
Jamal, 2005. “The political participation and engagement of Muslim Americans: Mosque involvement and group consciousness.” American Politics Research

Dana, Barreto, Oskoii, 2011. “Mosques as American Institutions” Religions

Ozyurt. 2010. “Bridge builders or boundary markers? The role of the mosque in the acculturation process of immigrant Muslim women in the United States.” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.

Week 10 – June 2	Final Presentations

Finals Week – June 9-13	Final papers due by June 12, via e-mail