The Politics of Difference

Course overview.

Image source: Havard Business Review


The United States is frequently described as a “melting pot” or “salad bowl” of people from diverse and varied backgrounds with differing histories, experiences, and beliefs. As the U.S. continues to diversify, these differences often conflict and intersect in meaningful ways. In this course, we will tackle questions about when, why, and to what extent group differences—particularly along lines of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality—take on significance in American politics. In doing so, we will interrogate the historical and contemporary processes that create difference and differential access to resources, engage with theories of identity construction and development, and assess empirical approaches to the study of identity groups in American politics.