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The Contemporary American Family, Spring 2004
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The role of the family in human evolution, and as a symbol ...

The role of the family in human evolution, and as a symbol in our own social and political lives. Topics include: sex, marriage, and parenting; the labor market; class, race, and ethnicity; and the family's probable future. We begin by considering briefly the evolution of the family, its cross-cultural variability, and its history in the West. We next examine how the family is currently defined in the U.S., discussing different views about what families should look like. Class and ethnic variability and the effects of changing gender roles are discussed in this section. We next look at sexuality, traditional and non-traditional marriage, parenting, divorce, family violence, family economics, poverty, and family policy. Controversial issues dealt with include day care, welfare policy, and the "Family Values" debate.

Subject:
U.S. History
Anthropology
Economics
Women's Studies
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Full Course
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Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Jackson, Jean Elizabeth
Debs Attacks "the Monstrous System" of Capitalism
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In 1912, four candidates battled to become President of the United States. ...

In 1912, four candidates battled to become President of the United States. Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a moderate governor, represented the two major parties. Former President Theodore Roosevelt, angered over what he felt was a betrayal of his policies by Taft, his hand-picked successor, abandoned the Republican party and founded the Progressive or "Bull Moose" Party. While all four candidates appealed directly to working-class voters, whose votes would prove decisive, by far the most radical platform in the campaign was that of the Socialist Party nominee, Eugene V. Debs. Running for the fourth time, Debs called for the abolition of capitalism rather than for its reform. In this speech accepting the party's nomination he proclaimed the Socialist Party "the party of progress, the party of the future." Debs finished last in the contest, receiving 900,000 votes.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"A Devil to Tempt and a Corrupt Heart to Deceive," John Dane Battles Life's Temptations, ca. 1670s.
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John Dane, a tailor, was born in Berkhampstead, England, around 1612. In ...

John Dane, a tailor, was born in Berkhampstead, England, around 1612. In the late 1630s, which he recollects here as a period of "a great coming to New England," he and his family emigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts. He died in Ipswich in 1684. Dane's parents, like many Puritan parents, raised their children to carry what historian Philip Greven calls an "inner disciplinarian" within their own consciences at all times. Dane's mother reminded him: "Go where you will, God will find you out." In this narrative, Dane, who always remembered her warning, related the temptations he faced over the course of his life--to steal, to accept the advances of women, to avoid church--and the prices he negotiated with an all-seeing God. (The spelling of this selection has been regularized to make it easier to read.)

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Discovering My Identity
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In this lesson, students will describe aspects of their identities such as ...

In this lesson, students will describe aspects of their identities such as race, gender, class, age, ability, religion and more. They will watch two video clips featuring Marley Dias, an eleven-year-old girl who started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, a book drive with the goal of collecting 1,000 books featuring African-American girls. After learning about the campaign, students will review illustrated books in their classroom and school library and analyze whether the characters in the books reflect their own identities or the identities of their families and friends. Finally, students will write a book review on one of the books and examine how the book’s characters are similar to or different from them.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Southern Poverty Law Center
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Teaching Tolerance
"Eight Hours a Day and Better Conditions": Andrew Pido Explains His Support for the 1919 Steel Strike
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In the dramatic 1919 steel strike, 350,000 workers walked off their jobs ...

In the dramatic 1919 steel strike, 350,000 workers walked off their jobs and crippled the industry. The U.S. Senate Committee on Education and Labor set out to investigate the strike while it was still in progress. In his testimony before the committee, Slavic steelworker Andrew Pido described the discrimination faced by some immigrant workers and how that discrimination - along with long pay and poor conditions--encouraged them to unionize and strike.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Ethnic Politics I, Fall 2003
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This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of ...

This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of the major theories on the relationship between ethnicity and politics. The first section discusses ethnicity as a dependent variable. This section studies the forces that shape the development of ethnic identities and their motivating power. The second section addresses ethnicity as an independent variable. In other words, it focuses on how ethnicity operates to affect important political and economic outcomes. Graduate students from all subfields and methodological backgrounds are encouraged to take the course regardless of their previous level of acquaintance with ethnic politics.

Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
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Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Petersen, Roger
Ethnic and National Identity, Fall 2011
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An introduction to the cross-cultural study of ethnic and national identity. We ...

An introduction to the cross-cultural study of ethnic and national identity. We examine the concept of social identity, and consider the ways in which gendered, linguistic, religious, and ethno-racial identity components interact. We explore the history of nationalism, including the emergence of the idea of the nation-state, as well as ethnic conflict, globalization, identity politics, and human rights.

Subject:
Anthropology
Ethnic Studies
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Lecture Notes
Readings
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Jean Jackson
Ethnicity and Race in World Politics, Fall 2005
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Ethnic and racial conflict appear to be the hallmark of the new ...

Ethnic and racial conflict appear to be the hallmark of the new world order. What accounts for the rise of ethnic/racial and nationalist sentiments and movements? What is the basis of ethnic and racial identity? What are the political claims and goals of such movements and is conflict inevitable? Introduces students to dominant theoretical approaches to race, ethnicity, and nationalism, and considers them in light of current events in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Discerning the ethnic and racial dimensions of politics is considered by some indispensable to understanding contemporary world politics. This course seeks to answer fundamental questions about racial and ethnic politics. To begin, what are the bases of ethnic and racial identities? What accounts for political mobilization based upon such identities? What are the political claims and goals of such mobilization and is conflict between groups and/or with government forces inevitable? How do ethnic and racial identities intersect with other identities, such as gender and class, which are themselves the sources of social, political, and economic cleavages? Finally, how are domestic ethnic/racial politics connected to international human rights? To answer these questions, the course begins with an introduction to dominant theoretical approaches to racial and ethnic identity. The course then considers these approaches in light of current events in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Lecture Notes
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Nobles, Melissa
"Evacuation Was a Mistake": Anger at Being Interned
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America fought World War II to preserve freedom and democracy, yet that ...

America fought World War II to preserve freedom and democracy, yet that same war featured the greatest suppression of civil liberties in the nation's history. In an atmosphere of hysteria, President Roosevelt, encouraged by officials at all levels of the federal government, authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. The federal government tried to monitor conditions inside the relocation camps and keep tabs on the feelings and attitudes of the internees. An interview conducted in the Manzanar, California, camp in July 1943 by a U.S. government employee with a man identified only as "an Older Nisei" (an American-born person whose parents were born in Japan) revealed the anger many internees felt toward the United States. Asserting his loyalty and his early willingness to support the war effort, the Older Nisei condemned the evacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. He questioned why the government did not act similarly against citizens of German and Italian descent.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Executive Order 9066: The President Authorizes Japanese Relocation
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In an atmosphere of World War II hysteria, President Roosevelt, encouraged by ...

In an atmosphere of World War II hysteria, President Roosevelt, encouraged by officials at all levels of the federal government, authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, dated February 19, 1942, gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen from a fifty- to sixty-mile-wide coastal area stretching from Washington state to California and extending inland into southern Arizona. The order also authorized transporting these citizens to assembly centers hastily set up and governed by the military in California, Arizona, Washington state, and Oregon. Although it is not well known, the same executive order (and other war-time orders and restrictions) were also applied to smaller numbers of residents of the United States who were of Italian or German descent. For example, 3,200 resident aliens of Italian background were arrested and more than 300 of them were interned. About 11,000 German residents--including some naturalized citizens--were arrested and more than 5000 were interned. Yet while these individuals (and others from those groups) suffered grievous violations of their civil liberties, the war-time measures applied to Japanese Americans were worse and more sweeping, uprooting entire communities and targeting citizens as well as resident aliens.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Eye on the East: Labor Calls for Ban on Chinese Immigration
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The San Francisco Building Trades Council (BTC), which Patrick McCarthy helped organize ...

The San Francisco Building Trades Council (BTC), which Patrick McCarthy helped organize in 1898, actively participated in the anti-Asian agitation that characterized California politics, particularly labor politics, in the late-19th century. The BTC, like the national American Federation of Labor (AFL), argued that the very presence of Chinese (and, after 1900, Japanese and Korean immigrants as well) dragged down the living standards of white workers. This memorial from a 1901 Chinese exclusion convention in San Francisco devoted to strategies for preventing Chinese immigration, called on Congress to use its legislative powers to limit the arrival of Asian aliens to America. It was reprinted in a 1902 AFL pamphlet.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"The Failure of German-Americanism": Reinhold Niebuhr Blames German Immigrants for Their Problems During WWI
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In the early 20th century, German Americans remained the largest immigrant group, ...

In the early 20th century, German Americans remained the largest immigrant group, as well as one of the most highly regarded. Thus the vicious nativist attack on the loyalty of German Americans that emerged before and during World War I was particularly remarkable. Germans had followed a successful assimilation strategy through which they sought to become "American" in politics while remaining "German" in culture. This relative acceptance, however, may have contributed to the problem. Because they saw themselves not as strangers but as full members of the American polity, German Americans responded to the war initially by lobbying strongly to influence American foreign policy in ways favorable to Germany. When the German government began submarine warfare, resulting in American deaths, even German Americans joined in questioning the behavior, if not the loyalty, of their fellow immigrants. In 1916, Reinhold Niebuhr, a German American and young theologian (who later became famous), wrote an article in Atlantic Monthly in which he argued that German Americans were themselves responsible for the "lack of esteem" in which they were currently held by other Americans.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Fair's Fair: McDonnell Argues for Acceptance of Aliens
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Labor leaders like Denis Kearney and H. L. Knight of California's Workingmen's ...

Labor leaders like Denis Kearney and H. L. Knight of California's Workingmen's Party often resorted to popular racist arguments to justify the exclusion of Chinese immigrants. In an 1878 address, Kearney and Knight described the Chinese as a race of "cheap working slaves" who undercut American living standards and thus should be banished from America's shores. A few American labor leaders, mostly in the radical and socialist wing of the movement, were more sympathetic. In this 1878 editorial in the Labor Standard attacking demands for Chinese workers to be deported, Irish-born socialist Joseph McDonnell reminded readers that the arrival of virtually every ethnic group in America had been met with the same "intolerant, silly and shameful cry" of "Go home!" Though voices like McDonnell's were exceptional, they serve as reminders that some late nineteenth-century white Americans were able to pierce the veil of prejudice that men like Kearney and Knight erected against Asian immigrants.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
A Family Corresponds: Polish Immigrants in the Early 20th century
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Many immigrants to the United States wrote letters back home. At the ...

Many immigrants to the United States wrote letters back home. At the time they were written, the missives shaped the expectations of those who would soon make the same journey; today, they gave historians invaluable first-hand testimony of the immigrants' own experiences. These seventeen letters involved the children of a retired Polish farmer named Raczkowski. Adam Raczkowski went to the United States in 1904 with the financial assistance of his sister Helena Brylska [later Dabrowskis] and his brother Franciszek, who had both previously immigrated. He settled with his brother in Wilmington, Delaware, and obtained factory work. The letters included here cover the years 1904 to 1912 and were written between both Adam and Helena and their sister Teofila, who remained in Poland.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"The Fifteenth Amendment Illustrated"
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In 1870, two years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing freedpeople ...

In 1870, two years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing freedpeople rights as U.S. citizens, Congress responded to racial violence in the South by providing additional constitutional protection for the black electorate. The Fifteenth Amendment declared that the right of U.S. citizens to vote could not be abridged or denied" by any state "on account of race

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
The Fight Begins at Home: Jewett Defends Asian Immigrants
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Labor leaders like Denis Kearney and H. L. Knight of California's Workingmen's ...

Labor leaders like Denis Kearney and H. L. Knight of California's Workingmen's Party often resorted to popular racist arguments to justify the exclusion of Chinese immigrants. In an 1878 address, Kearney and Knight described the Chinese as a race of "cheap working slaves" who undercut American living standards and thus should be banished from America's shores. A few American labor leaders, mostly in the radical and socialist wing of the movement, were more sympathetic. In a letter to the Detroit Socialist in May 1878, B.E.G. Jewett argued that the slogan should not be that "the Chinese must go," but that "the oppressors, money-mongers, . . . must go." Though voices like Jewett were exceptional, they serve as reminders that some late nineteenth-century white Americans were able to pierce the veil of prejudice that men like Kearney and Knight erected against Asian immigrants.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Fighting Discrimination in Mexican American Education
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With the annexation of Texas in 1848 at the end of the ...

With the annexation of Texas in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War, Tejanos--Texans of Mexican descent--lost property rights and political power in a society dominated by Anglos. Through discriminatory practices and violent force, Tejanos were kept at the bottom of the new political and socio-cultural order. From 1900-1930, as an influx of immigrants from Mexico came north to meet a growing demand for cheap labor in the developing commercial agriculture industries, Tejanos experienced continued discrimination in employment, housing, public facilities, the judicial system, and educational institutions. Many school districts segregated Tejano and Anglo children into separate facilities. The Mexican schools were grossly underfunded and often offered only a grade school education. In 1930, when 90% of the schools in South Texas were segregated, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a Tejano advocacy group, supported a court challenge to school segregation. The Texas Court of Appeals, however, ruled that school districts could use such criteria as language and irregular attendance due to seasonal work to separate students. The struggle of Mexican Americans to end discriminatory practices accelerated following World War II. In 1948, LULAC and the newly formed American G.I. Forum, an advocacy group of Mexican American veterans, assisted in a lawsuit that eventuated in a federal district court decision prohibiting school segregation based on Mexican ancestry. Localities evaded the ruling, however, and de facto segregation continued. In 1955, LULAC and the Forum initiated a suit protesting the practice of placing Tejano children into separate classes for the first two grades of school and requiring four years to compete these grades. Ed Idar of the Forum, in an interview below, discussed this practice, which was finally outlawed in 1957. Student protests in the late 1960s--supported and complemented by a new civil rights organization, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)--achieved an end to more discriminatory practices and the introduction of bilingual and bicultural programs into schools. In the second interview, Pete Tijerina, the founder of MALDEF, related a successful student protest against discrimination.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Food riot, 1917.
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During World War I, wartime inflation severely taxed the limited budgets of ...

During World War I, wartime inflation severely taxed the limited budgets of working-class families. Although wages also rose during the war, they could not keep up with prices. On February 20, 1917, after confronting pushcart peddlers who were charging exorbitant rates for necessities, thousands of women marched to New York's City Hall to demand relief. The food riot" precipitated a boycott campaign that eventually forced pushcart prices down. Women in Boston and Philadelphia took similar action."

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"A Foretaste of the Orient": John Murray Criticizes the AFL
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Most historians who have written about the 1903 strike of Mexican and ...

Most historians who have written about the 1903 strike of Mexican and Japanese farm workers against the Oxnard, California, sugar beet growers have relied on John Murray's first-hand account of the strike and its aftermath. Murray, a socialist union organizer, went to Oxnard after learning of the strike through newspaper accounts of strike-related violence and rioting. Along with fellow union organizer Fred C. Wheeler, Murray assisted the farm workers' union, the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association (JMLA), in negotiations with the Western Agricultural Contracting Company, which contracted laborers for local sugar beet farmers. When the American Federation of Labor refused to grant a charter to the JMLA unless the union excluded all Asian workers, Murray wrote this article, "A Foretaste of the Orient," as both a chronicle of the strike and as a biting criticism of the AFL's refusal to accept Asian- and African-American workers as members.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project