Race and Ethnic Relations


  2. A. Course Title: Race and Ethnic Relations
    B. Course Number: SO 233 - 30357
    C. Semester: Fall 2017
    D. Days/Time: M W F 11:00:00 AM - 11:50:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Pruitt, Debbie
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 213
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2812
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 11:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 8:00:00 AM-9:30:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 11:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 8:00:00 AM-9:30:00 AM (MST); 12:30:00 PM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 11:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s):
    M. Corequisite(s):
    N. Class Location: HH204

    This course will provide a sociological analysis of the status of the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States from the viewpoint of the major sociological perspectives. This is a three credit hour course.


    This course is designed for the student to gain knowledge, information and insights about major cultural groups in the United States. It will study and discuss various racial and ethnic groups as well as religious, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation groups. Awareness can lead to understanding. Students should be aware of current events pertinent to topics.

    This course is a general education course with transferability to New Mexico, Texas, and other post secondary schools, but it is always advisable to check with the receiving four-year institution.



    Racial & Ethnic Groups,(14th Edition). Richard T. Schaefer, author. Pearson Publishing, ISBN 978-0-13-377099-5.


    Glenn, C., Gray L., Harbrace Essentials. Cengage Learning, 2nd ed., ISBN 13-978-1-285-45181-7

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    This class will be run as a facilitated seminar, drawing from the text readings, experiences and perspectives of the instructor, students and class discussions. Assignments are to be read prior to the scheduled class time covering that topic. Your questions, comments and reactions to the reading assignments can be important contributions to our class discussions. Critical thinking is essential for success in this class and opinions are encouraged and in some instances required. All discussions will be civil in nature and opinions are useful as to establish critical thinking. This class covers race and ethnic relations and many topics of discussion can be sensitive and controversial.

    Exams: 3@100 pts. each 300 points
    Reaction papers: 7@50 pts. each 350 points
    Group project 100 points
    Module Zero 65 points
    Total points available 815

    Exams: Three exams will be administered and cover textbook and lecture material. Exams are multiple choice/short answer and worth 100 points. Tests will be taken on Canvas, the distance learning medium for NMJC. Each exam covers approximately 1/4 of the course. Exams will be timed in order to minimize cheating. Once you open the exam in Canvas, be prepared to complete it. Exams will be opened enough days that there should not be an excuse for missing the tests. Contact the instructor if you have conflicts. The final exam will not be comprehensive.

    Reaction papers: The textbook material will be augmented by movies/videos that are pertinent to the information being discussed. Reaction papers are required following any video relating to topics being discussed in class. Guidelines to the papers will be provided and your reaction will require critical thinking. Grades will be assessed on content and completeness of studentís reaction. Reaction papers are worth 50 points each and will be uploaded to Canvas. Papers will be uploaded to Canvas. As current events become available, this assignment could change.

    Any paper submitted or exam reopened after the due date will have points deducted at 5 points a day.

    Group exercise: Your grade will include one group exercise. Illegal Immigration, a current and controversial subject and pertinent issue will be researched and reported back by the group. Background information will be presented by the instructor prior to being broken up into groups and given an assignment. Points will be assessed by the studentís participation, attendance and presentation in the group assignment. The group exercise will be worth 100 points.

    Regular attendance has been shown to improve scores. If you find that you are unable to attend class, please contact the instructor via e-mail or Canvas. Excessive absenteeism can result in the lowering of your grade, as well as affecting financial aid. Therefore, attendance is encouraged.

    Roll will be taken every class and attendance will be maintained in Canvas where absences and tardy are tracked. 100 points are available for attendance. Points are lost by being absent without excuse and being tardy. A roll sheet will be passed around for every class period and attendance tracked from that roll sheet. Be sure and sign in every class to ensure attendance credit.


    The recommended programs for accessing Canvas on your home computer is either Firefox or Google Chrome. The most compatible software is Microsoft Word or Google Docs when writing papers to be uploaded to Canvas. If you do not have these programs, consider using a NMJC computer or converting your document prior to submission. Consider downloading Office 365 if you need this software or please use a NMJC computer or convert your work prior to submission. Uploading assignments via your phone or tablet will not work in Canvas. There is a link on Canvas on how to use Office 365 and download it for free onto your computer if you are a student at NMJC.

    The Canvas Help Desk is a good resource when needing help with any issues that arise with Canvas. The phone is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Leave a message if no immediate answer. If you call the help line, give them your name, class you are having problems with, your A number and the CRN of the class you are calling about. The CRN can be located at the top of your online class and is a five digit number. The Canvas Help Desk phone number is 399-2199.

    If you have a smart phone, consider downloading the Canvas app. This will enable you to see notices and changes that are made to Canvas assignments. Make checking Canvas a regular habit as the Instructor will send messages and notices via Canvas. Mobile and tablet devices are for viewing the courses only and not for submitting assignments.

    Grades will be maintained in Canvas via a point system and students are encouraged to check their progress regularly.

    Module Zero: The first week of class complete Module Zero in Canvas for a good overview of how the system works and to familiarize yourself with Canvas. This is a graded assignment and a requirement.

    Instructor Response Time: I will make every effort to grade work in a timely manner. With large classes, this could take a while, but every effort will be made to report grades within 48 hours after due date.

    This class opens itself up to discussion on current events. Students should be aware of them and be prepared to discuss them. There are no wrong opinions, just a lack of any opinion at all. We will always be courteous of each other and agree to disagree on some topics. Some topics are sensitive and tact will be required. Students should be prepared to participate and exercise critical thinking.


    New Mexico Junior Collegeís institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's Social/Behavioral Sciences Department endorses the Core Competencies as established by the State of New Mexico. Within our respective fields, as appropriate, students should:

    A. Identify, describe, and explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of complex and diverse communities.

    B. Articulate how beliefs, assumptions, and values are influenced by factors such as politics, geography, economics, culture, biology, history, and social institutions.

    C. Describe ongoing reciprocal interactions among self, society, and the environment.

    D. Apply the knowledge base of the social and behavior sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate relevant issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments.

    Selected specific competencies will be used to demonstrate mastery of the above.


    1. Provide a clear and concise set of definitions and terms related to race and ethnicity. Students should have an understanding of the theoretical perspectives of the study of race and ethnicity.
    2. Describe and be aware of the problem of prejudice and discrimination. Have an understanding of the theories of why prejudice and discrimination continue to be present in our society and the theories of why we still contend with these issues.
    3. Explore the immigration issue and the evolution of how we have arrived with the current government policy.
    4. Explore the different ethnicities and religious backgrounds in their history and the contribution they made to the US.
    5. Prove that something positive can be done about the resolution of negative issues related to race and ethnic relations.
    6. Instill a sense that negative issues can be resolved, while at the same time tempering this optimism with a realistic understanding of the difficulties involved in achieving this end.
    7. Examine why the human race has such a difficult time in achieving peace and harmony via the main sociological perspectives of symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and conflict theories.


    MAKE-UP WORK POLICY: Turn in all assignments on time. If an emergency causes a delay, contact the instructor as soon as possible and we will work it out. Exams must be taken on the date schedules; when in doubt, communicate with the instructor quickly. Email or text is fine but INCLUDE YOUR NAME. Be aware that late work that is accepted can have points deducted.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located in Mansur Hall room 123 and 124.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether itís a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    I anticipate covering a chapter a week in this semester. However, I like to keep our schedule open to cover any emergencies or material that may take longer/shorter than anticipated.

    Week 1. August 21. Syllabus review, Chapter 1. "Exploring Race & Ethnicity." Complete Module Zero in Canvas for a grade.

    Week 2. August 28, Chapter 2, "Prejudice"

    Week 3. September 4, Chapter 3. "Discrimination". No class Monday for Labor Day.

    Week 4. September 11. "The Tuskegee Airmen" movie and reaction paper #1. Test #1 over chapter 1-3.

    Week 5. September 18. Chapter 4."Immigration"


    Week 7. October 2. Group project continued

    Week 8. October 9. Group presentations

    Week 9. October 16. Chapter 5, "Ethnicity and Religion." Exam, chapter 4-5.

    Week 10. October 23 Chapter 7 & 8, "African Americans".

    Week 11. October 30. Chapter 9 & 10. "Latino and Mexican Americans."

    Week 12. November 6. Chapter 9 & 10 Continued

    Week 13. November 13. Video series on Hispanic Culture and reaction papers.

    Week 14. November 20. Chapter 15. "Women as oppressed." THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY, NOVEMBER22-24

    Week 15. November 27. Chapter 17. "overcoming exclusion"

    Week 16. December 4. Any catch-up needed.

    Week 17. FINALS WEEK. DECEMBER 11-13.