Identity, Policy and Politics
The position of minorities in the United States, an immigrant nation since its inception, remains a volatile topic of debate that touches the core of American identity. While we will review the history of minorities in America, we will focus on their status within the cultural and political framework and examine the ways that how we understand rights as either individually or communally derived informs policy decisions and shapes minority institutions. We will seek to define what "minority" status entails by studying how ethnicity, race, gender and religious identity, and cultural expression play out in the political sphere. Attention will then shift to minority community building - how public policies and leaders nurture or undermine minority identity, establish and sustain institutions, and create sustainable minority communities.