The Economics of Racial (In)Justice

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
July 12, 2021 - July 28, 20217/12 - 7/282 WeeksOnlineWaitlistedOnlineColumbus Pruitt

Course Description

Who wins and loses in the American economy? How does the economy exploit and dominate some groups while continuing to bestow profits and gains on others? What can we do to make the economy more just? These are some of the questions we will explore in this class.

At a time of rising populism, trade wars, and racial tension, this class gives students the tools to make sense of contemporary problems. Students will be able to understand what it means for the Fed to raise interest rates and the winners and losers from such policies. The class offers a history of race relations in America and an understanding of the basic economic principles that can dominate groups or can help achieve justice. Bringing together a study of U.S. race relations and an overview of political economy, students will explore the rise of the modern economy with a keen eye to the winners, the losers, and the heroes that made America what it is.

The course serves as a beginning point for those who are eager to study economics, political science, and race relations. We will read some of the most important thinkers in the field of political science, like Karl Polanyi and David Harvey, but the class will also unpack the core assumptions of the modern economy that keep domination in place. The course is intended to make students more confident and capable in discussing important contemporary issues in any forum. The topics studied in this class will increase students' awareness of the ways that their everyday actions are part of a broader economic framework and the ways they can inhabit this framework to be more inclusive and just. On a more general level, this class develops students’ reading, writing, and communication abilities. These skills are important for any academic major or career.

Prerequisites: At least one year of American history is recommended.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPS0987

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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