Get Involved


For Spring 2017, A Different Dialogue will connect with Dr. Hinkson's course "Engaging Difference: Race, Ethnicity, and Intergroup Dialogue". Interested students can register the course and participate in A Different Dialogue. 

Lecture: TR 9:30-10:45
Car Barn 301
Weekly Lab: Wednesday 6:30-8:30
Walsh 391


This course offers an introduction to classic and contemporary research on racial and ethnic relations in the United States within the sociological tradition, which emphasizes the social constructionist perspective of race and ethnicity and the structures that maintain racial and ethnic patterns of inequality and power. It also examines the central tensions underlying race and ethnic relations. While the course’s focus is on the United States, we will devote some attention to intergroup relations beyond this country’s borders as a means of illuminating the definitions of and the roles that race and ethnicity play in shaping America’s identity and social fabric. As a requirement of this course, students will partake in A Different Dialogue as its lab component. This intergroup dialogue lab will allow students to extend their understanding of the course materials and draw connections to social identities such as their own race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and social class.


Since the beginning of the 20th century, American sociology has been a leader in the study of intergroup relations, assimilation, and racial and ethnic conflict. Over time, racial and ethnic categories have evolved in this country, due to a complex blend of political, cultural, and demographic shifts. The main objective of this course is to identify and appreciate the social forces that have facilitated or impeded intergroup relations in the United States over time. As such, the course’s three main goals are to: 1) identify the main theoretical debates in the conceptualization and analysis of race and ethnicity; 2) develop an historical understanding of the shifting social and political meanings of race and ethnicity; 3) connect these changes in racial and ethnic typologies to trends in intergroup relations within the United States; 4) develop comfort with, and a skill for, discourse on difficult topics in order to foster positive, meaningful, and sustained cross-group relationships through the bi-weekly intergroup dialogue.

Credits: 4.0

Prerequisites: None