Race, gender, religion, sexuality and other social identities permeate the development and administration of American public policy. These identities are just as powerful of a tool in efforts to reduce social and economic disparities (e.g. Voting Rights Act, public contracting requirements, etc.) as they are in efforts to perpetuate them (e.g. racial bias in policing, gender bias in hiring, etc.). In this course, students explore a range of perspectives on how identity has been, and should be used in American politics. To do so, the course is largely broken up into five sections: 1) The psychology of identity and bias; 2) How identity affects public opinion and political behavior; 3) Explicit and implicit uses of identity in politics and policy; 4) Theories on how to reduce identity-based bias (e.g. religious discrimination, ableism, sexism); 5) Development and testing of a theory on how to reduce identity-based bias in a specific policy area of interest.
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