Race and Ethnic Relations Syllabus

Course Description

This course examines the historical and social construction of race. We will explore the development of racist practices by individuals and institutions, and the consequences of those practices, especially the persistence of racial inequality. We will also examine U.S. and global racial/ethnic groups, including whites, as well as the intersections of race with other inequalities such as class and gender.

W. I. Thomas once wrote, “What is thought to be real is real in its consequences.” Race and ethnicity in America have very real consequences in the structuring and organization of American life. This course seeks to give students the tools to understand the social and historical contexts that have shaped the modern experience of race and ethnicity. This course will also show that reality in all aspects of social life, but particularly in relation to this subject matter, is complex and many causes contribute to many diverse outcomes. At the end of the day, sufficient answers require rigorous, critical inquiry. This course aims to provide you with the tools and information to make such inquiries in your own life.

Required Text

Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives, 10th edition. Martin Marger. ISBN-13: 9781285749693. Cengage Learning.

You may also purchase a digital copy of the text by visiting Cengage.

Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  1. Identify and explain various sociological concepts and theories pertaining to race/ethnicity and racial oppression.
  2. Apply sociological concepts and theories of race to everyday life.
  3. Examine the experiences of racial/ethnic groups from the perspective of a researcher as well as members of those groups.
  4. Describe how race is socially constructed institutionally as well as symbolically.
  5. Explain specific forms of racial inequality (e.g., education, employment, crime, immigration) using the sociological perspective.

Weekly Assignments

Although the first week (Introduction) and the last week (Conclusion) are different, the organization of the remaining weeks is quite consistent in SOC 323. Understanding the weekly flow of assignments will help you quickly become familiar with the course structure and help you verify that you have completed everything that you are expected to do.

Each week you will be asked to complete the following activities:

  1. Read the textbook ~2 hours
    1. Complete a reading quiz ~35 minutes
      1. open book
      2. timed
      3. one attempt
  2. Watch a discussion video ~10 minutes
    1. Participate in a small group (5 students) discussion board ~1 hour
      1. initial post by midweek
      2. final post by end-of-week
  3. Participate in a group activity ~1 hour
    1. using Zoom
    2. lead student will submit a recording for the whole group
  4. Submit work sheet related to group activity ~1 hour
    1. each group member submits a personal copy
  5. Complete (depending on the week) either:
    1. an Exploring Exercise ~1 hour
    2. or a piece of your semester-long Research Paper ~1 hour
    3. or take an Exam ~1 hour
      1. multiple choice
      2. one hour
      3. one attempt

See the calendar for specific due dates and times. All times are approximations; you may need more to complete everything. Use these times to organize when you are going to work on this course this week.

Learning Model Architecture

Students will prepare for the lesson’s activities through course readings and reading quizzes.

Students will teach one another in the group activities, video discussions, and a peer reviewed paper activity.

Students will ponder and prove what they learn through discussion board posts, a semester-long research paper, and exams.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Grade Breakdown

Quizzes 15%
Exploring Exercises 15%
Exams 25%
Group Activities 10%
Video Discussions 10%
Research Paper 25%

Grading Scale

This course will use the following standard BYU-Idaho grading scale:

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 93%
A- 90%
B+ 87%
B 83%
B- 80%
C+ 77%
C 73%
C- 70%
D+ 67%
D 63%
D- 60%
F 59% or below

Online Support Center

Phone: (208) 496-1411

Email: byuisupportcenter@byui.edu

Website: http://www.byui.edu/online/help

Text Messaging: (855) 808-7102

Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 11 PM (MT) Skype: onlinesupportcenterbyui

Live Chat: Available on the Online Support Center Website.

Help Desk

Phone: (208) 496-1411

Email: helpdesk@byui.edu

Website: http://www.byui.edu/information-technology

Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 9 PM Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM

University Policies

Academic honesty is required and any violation with be dealt with according to the University Academic Honesty Policy.

Policy on Sexual Discrimination/Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an education program or activity that receives federal funds, including Federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender based discrimination, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Nick Rammell, using the following information:

Phone (US only): (208) 496-9200

Email: Nick Rammell at rammelln@byui.edu

For more information, visit http://www.byui.edu/titleix

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability that may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact Disability Services.

Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by this office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures.

Phone (US only): (208) 496-9210

Email: disabilityservices@byui.edu

Fax: 208.496.5210

Website: Disability Services

Personal Conduct

All of your correspondence with the teacher or other classmates must be respectful. Writing something disrespectful or “venting” is unprofessional and not becoming of a university student. In addition, it is not in accordance with the Honor Code of BYU-Idaho and you will be subject to discipline accordingly. You are invited to re-read the CES Honor Code and about the principles of Personal Honor.


Materials on BYU Idaho I-Learn and related sites may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.