PS 401: Social Identities

This course is an introduction to theories and empirical work on social identities, focusing in particular on definitions and measurement. The course has three main goals: First, we will examine various definitions of social identities and different types of identities (ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, class, and religion).
Second, we will look at techniques and strategies that have been developed to measure identities (content and discourse analysis, surveys, interviews and ethnography, censuses). Third, we will examine empirical works on identities from a variety of geographical areas and methodological perspectives.
This course will be based on student-­centered discussion rather than lectures. Reading is essential for full participation in discussions and students will be asked to explain concepts from the readings in class. In addition, through short assignments students will practice a variety of techniques for measuring identity. Finally, students will work in groups to collect data, research and write an original research paper related to a social identity using one of the techniques covered in the class.