Spring 2020

The Social Construction of Whiteness

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-334  |  Black Studies, as BLST-336

Faculty

Ron Lembo (Section 01)

Description

(Offered as SOCI 334 and BLST 336 [US])  Being “white” is typically treated as a default identity in the United States, yet whiteness remains relatively unexamined as a source of accumulated institutional advantages and cultural entitlements. This course will interrogate prevailing constructions of whiteness, examining its origins as a racial category, its function as group identity and source of individual meaning-making, and its role in reproducing racial hierarchy. Drawing on historical, theoretical, literary, and sociological accounts, our aim will be to contextualize whiteness as a discourse of power.  The course will focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the United States, from the pre-Civil Rights era through the contemporary passage from colorblind to nationalist constructions of whiteness.

Requisite: SOCI 112 or equivalent. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 20 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Lembo.

If Overenrolled: First priority given to senior and junior Sociology majors, then BLST majors, and then seniors and juniors.

Offerings

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019