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Race & Class Inequality


The Department of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside offers a specialization in Race and Class Inequality. Research in this specialization focuses on the social, economic, political, and health consequences of race/ethnicity and inequality both nationally and globally. Students in the specialization study social, economic, and political disparities, including both class and race as the bases of inequality. They examine theories and studies of racial and class oppression and exploitation. The specialization investigates the meaning of race/ethnicity, theories of race and inequality, causes and manifestations of racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and the effects of these phenomena on individuals, groups, nations, and international relations. Research in the specialization uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches and employs variegated theoretical frameworks. In addition to the above, students are free and encouraged to develop their own unique research interests in consultation with the faculty. Originality and excellence in thought, theorizing, and research are stressed.

Race and Class Inequality combines two of the core sub-areas of the discipline of Sociology. The structuring of U.S. society (and the world) along race and class lines, and the limitations to equal opportunity that this poses, pervades almost all other aspects of Sociology and other social science disciplines.

The topic of race and class links to other specializations within the Sociology department as well as to other departments and institutes on campus. Within the department, there are overlaps with Social Theory, with Organizations and Institutions, with Gender Studies, with Criminology and Socio-legal Studies, and with Political Economy. All of these areas incorporate issues of Race and Class Inequality into their subject matters. In terms of the campus, the Race/Class Specialization has synergies with Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, History, Religious Studies, Political Science, and a number of other departments. Relevant institutes include UC Mexus and the Center for Study of the Americas. The Specialization also has connections with the UC-wide Pacific Rim program, and the new Institute for Labor and Employment.