Spring 2021  |  PA 5421 Section 001: Racial Inequality and Public Policy (54157)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option No Audit
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
Completely Online
Class Attributes:
Online Course
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/19/2021 - 05/03/2021
Sat 09:00AM - 11:45AM
Off Campus
Enrollment Status:
Closed (26 of 26 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Historical roots of racial inequality in American society. Contemporary economic consequences. Public policy responses to racial inequality. Emphasizes thinking/analysis that is critical of strategies offered for reducing racism and racial economic inequality. prereq: Grad or instr consent
Class Notes:
Class will be offered REMOTELY. Class will meet synchronously-online during Spring 2021 during the scheduled time. http://classinfo.umn.edu/?myers006+PA5421+Spring2021
Class Description:
This seminar explores the historical roots of racial inequality in American society and the economic consequences for contemporary times. Focus will be placed on public policy developments and intellectual debates in the "Post-Civil Rights Era," i.e., recent years when race-based strategies for reduction of economic disparities no longer are politically feasible and the "Post-Racialism Era" when race itself is no longer considered an explanation for inequality. The first half of the course explores the various causes and the empirical evidence on racial and ethnic economic inequality. The second half the course introduces the methods and techniques for assessing the effectiveness of alternative remedies to inequality. Some consideration is given to the problem of race and racial inequality in a comparative perspective, even though the main focus of much of the course is on the United States. Special attention is paid to changing notions of race and federal and state responses to rapid demographic changes. The seminar will provoke open debate and discourse about public policy responses to racial inequality. The emphasis is on stimulating seminar participants to think about and to analyze critically the range of strategies offered for reducing racism and racial and ethnic economic inequality.

This course fulfills a requirement for the 7-credit Health Disparities Interdisciplinary Concentration. For more information on the concentration and a full list of requirements, please visit http://www.sph.umn.edu/academics/ic/disparities/.


Individual Assignments 60%

10 Reflective Essays 10%
5 Online Forum Essays 10%
Quiz #1 20%
Quiz #2 20%

Team Assignments 40%

Team Reading Response Paper 5%
Peer Evaluation of Team-Led Discussion 5%
Problem Statement 5%
Policy Brief 10%
Peer Evaluation of Team Policy Brief Presentation 5%
Within-Group Peer Evaluation 10%

TOTAL 100%
Exam Format:

There will be two timed, computer graded quizzes. The format will include multiple-choice and true-false questions as well as matching and completion formats. These quizzes will be based largely on the lectures and required and recommended readings. The quizzes will be posted online. Study guides will be distributed two weeks before each quiz.
Class Format:

Class sessions will be devoted to highlighting some of the central issues that confound theoretical and empirical assessments of racism and racial and ethnic inequality. These central issues are developed extensively in the required readings, which cover a broad range of scholarly and popular perspectives and approaches. The sessions will include lectures, group activities, discussions, and films.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/myers006_PA5421_Spring2019.pdf (Spring 2019)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/myers006_PA5421_Spring2018.pdf (Spring 2018)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/myers006_PA5421_Spring2016.docx (Spring 2016)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
29 October 2018

ClassInfo Links - Spring 2021 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Samuel Myers, Jr

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