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Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies

CES 101

Spring 2012

Due: January 27



The key and core question is as follows:  Does race matter? The paper should be typed, double-spaced, and roughly 1-2 pages


While the core question is above, here are things you might want to consider:


  1. Does race matter in your own life; how has it mattered and how does it still matter does it matter in your community; does it still matter in the United States; does it matter outside the United States).


  1. “What is your racial identity? When and how did you become aware of this identity? What role has it played in your life? How does it affect you in your social activities? How does it affect you in your school? How does it affect you in your community? In what ways do you benefit from this identity? In what ways do you suffer or miss out because of this identity?”[1]


  1. Be thoughtful about the process of “race socialization” (i.e. racialization) and reflect upon the racialization in your own lives.  You may choose to focus one a particular period or event in your life. Or you may choose to give a broad overview.


  1. What have you been taught in regards to race?  In other words, what were the messages you received about your “place” in society as compared to other “races”—an African American male, an Asian American female, a white Italian female, an American Indian male, and so on?


  1. How were you taught this and by whom? In other words, what individuals (i.e. parents, siblings, teachers, police officers, friends, etc) or institutions have played a major role in shaping your current perceptions of “race”?  How did you learn this information (i.e. did direct experiences with prejudice or was it subtle or more indirect messages?)


  1. In what way(s) are you a product of socialization? To what extent do you act the way in which you were taught to act racially/talk racially?  To what extent have you managed to transcend/reject your socialization? How have you done so, with what rewards and at what cost?


  1. How do the potential costs and benefits of your racialization differ from someone else’s? For example, if society perceives and treats you as “white,” think about some potential costs and benefits of being so perceived versus the potential costs and benefits of being a person of color in this society.




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