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Matt A. Barreto ::

PS 289B: Minority Political Behavior in the U.S.

Spring 2015, Monday, 1:00pm - 3:50pm, Slichter Hall 2834

Course Description:

This is a graduate seminar for students interested in how minority group identity influences political behavior. We will define minority group identity broadly, covering race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion, gender, sexual orientation. While a majority of the existing scholarship has tended to focus on African American, Latino, Asian American, and White political participation, the course will not be limited to only these topics. We will take up the role of gender, sexuality, and religion as each impacts the political development, attitudes, and behavior in American politics.

This seminar will examine the history and contemporary role of minority groups in the U.S. political system. We will focus on political relationships between Whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans as they relate to political participation, party affiliation, voting coalitions, and public opinion, in addition to other groups referenced above. 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.

Books / Articles:

Each week there will be required readings from one or more of these books and scholarly journals. Readings should be done for the day they are assigned. Readings from journal articles will be accessible online via JSTOR, Google Scholar, or the course website. The complete, week-by-week reading list is posted on the course website.

  • Dawson, Michael. 1994. Behind the Mule. Princeton University Press.
  • Tate, Katherine. 2003. Black Faces in the Mirror. Princeton University Press.
  • DeSipio, Louis. 1996. Counting on the Latino Vote. University of Virginia Press.
  • Ramírez, Ricardo. 2013. Mobilizing Opportunities. University of Virginia Press.
  • Wong, Janelle, et. al. 2011. Asian American Political Participation. Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber. 2008 Race and Arab Americans. Syracuse University Press.

Week-by-week syllabus with reading assignments: Download Syllabus

PS 289B Online Readings: Online Readings Page