Sociology of Race & Ethnicity Contemporary Socioeconomic Trends


Understanding Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Health – Williams & Sternthal


  1. The authors cite Du Bois for contributing social factors to poor health by race.  What are these?
  2. Empirical data show what types of racial differences in health?
  3. What is mentioned in the reading about racial differences in health being caused by genetic or biological differences across race?
  4. What are the multiple dimensions of SES that characterize racial disparities in health?
  5. How does racism and residential segregation adversely affect health?  What are few social resources that foster resilience?
  6. What do the complex patterns of migration and health show?
  7. What are some of the policy implications mentioned in the article to improve the overall health of racial minorities and reduce the disparities in health outcomes across race?


Transformative Assets, the Racial Wealth Gap, and the American Dream – T. Shapiro


  1. Progress since the 1960s on salaries and jobs lead to race-neutrality and color-blindness.  Why is this problematic?
  2. What is the racial wage gap?  Racial wealth gap?  What is meant by transformative assets?
  3. Is the wealth gap narrowing or growing?  WHY?



The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates


  1. What is mentioned in the beginning of the article (sections I & II) regarding property/homeownership?  What does “redlining” refer to?  What is the significance of this?
  2. In section III, have there ever been reparations in our country?  What has been the response to the idea of reparations?
  3. Reviewing section IV, do you think there is a legitimate case for reparations when considering the history of slavery?
  4. What is further mentioned regarding homeownership in section V?
  5. How was segregation perpetuated in Chicago (sections VI & VII)?
  6. In section VIII, what is mentioned about affirmative action?  What is your reaction?


  1. What is mentioned in the last two sections (IX & X)?  What might reparations look like?  What is the more recent example of racial segregation/institutional racism mentioned in these latter sections?
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