American Identity: Negotiating Race, Class & Gender in the U.S.

Course Number: 226

Open To:
Grades 11-12

Course Length:
Semester; 5 Units

UC/CSU Approved: College Preparatory Elective “G” Requirement

Course Description:
American Identity: Negotiating Race and Gender in the United States is a course that surveys a range of themes on inequalities—including race, class, gender, and sexuality—which are often taken for granted or go unrecognized. During the semester, students address the multiple and intersecting ways these concepts shape society (macro-level analysis), individual life-chances, and daily social interactions (micro-level analysis). The purpose of this course is to equip students with the tools to question and (re)consider the ways in which class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality affect the experiences of those living in America. First, students explore each of the core concepts: race, class, gender, and sexuality. By studying the “socially constructed” nature of these concepts, as well as the meanings and values attached to them, students come to recognize the ways in which social constructions allow for the rationalization and justification of social inequality. Next, students analyze these concepts in a variety of interpersonal and institutional contexts, including the family, schools, labor force, and criminal justice system. Finally, using the knowledge they gleaned through both study and experience, students develop an innovative product or plan that serves to help solve social inequality and/or promotes social change.

Textbook/Class Resources:

  • There is no textbook for this course. Reading assignments will be provided by the instructor.

Level of Difficulty:
  Very Difficult

Estimated Homework Per Class:
30 minutes
30-60 minutes
60-90 minutes