Department of Sociology

Kara Takasaki

M.A., The University of Chicago

Doctoral Candidate
Kara Takasaki



Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Work and Family, Migration, Social Welfare Policy, Asian America


SOC S321R • Sociology Of Race And Work

83844 • Summer 2019
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM JGB 2.202
CD (also listed as AAS S330, WGS S322)

Course Description

Work is a central activity in the lives of most people. Work can provide status, identity, social interaction, skills, and cultural values. The structure of a society determines the type of work that is available, who does what type of work, and how people are compensated for their labor. In this course, we will become familiar with concepts of labor markets, transnational labor, the service industry, care work, globalization, outsourcing, emotional labor, and race and gender stratification. The purpose of this course is to understand how race and employment are related to each other by answering the following questions.

 1. What is race?

 2. What is labor?

 3, What are labor markets?

 4. How do race, gender, and citizenship shape contemporary labor markets?

 Course Expectations


 Students are expected to arrive early and attend every class on the course schedule. Please silence and put away cell phones and other things that make noise before class starts. Role will be taken using a sign-in sheet. If you come to class late, it’s your responsibility to contact the TA that same day to ensure that you’re marked present.  For every class absence your final grade will fall by 1/2 a gradee.g. B+ to B. If you have to miss a class, let me know as soon as possible and I will work with you on a case by case basis. 

 Neither I nor my TA lend out our notes. If you miss class, make arrangements to copy another student's notes.  We'll be happy to go over them with you and answer anyquestions. You’re responsible for any material covered, as well as any assignments and/or announcements madeduring yourabsences.

 The two exceptions to this attendance policy are religious holy days and military service. The University of Texas at Austin policy states that you must notify your instructor at least (14) days prior to the classes scheduled on dates you will be absent to observe a religious holy dayto makearrangements. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence. For UT Austin policy on religious holy days and military service, please see:


10% research proposal

20% mid-session exam

20% research paper

10% presentation 

Participation (20% of final grade) 

Students are expected to come to each class having completed the assigned readings for that day on the syllabus and actively participate in class discussion. Only one person talks at a time and deserves the attention of the entire class. We will use student/teacher participation assessments to encourage and evaluate participation.

Some of the topics in this course are controversial. You may be exposed to arguments you do not agree with in readings, lectures, or class discussions. It is important that this classroom is an environment that fosters respectful dialogue. Respect others’ rights to hold opinions and beliefs that differ from your own. Challenge or criticize the idea, not the person.I will do my best to create a respectful learning environment and treat everyone with dignity and civility. I expect you to do the same.Please contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.

4 Reading Reflections (20% of final grade)

 Students are expected to complete a total of four, one-page (double-spaced) reading reflections throughout the five-week summer session. Each reflection is a chance to thoughtfully respond to the course question guiding that week’s course readings and activities. Please upload reflections to Canvas under the “Assignments” tab. These reflections are intended for students to critically interrogate the readings and raise questions that are interesting or unclear to them. I will use reflections to assess the speed of the course and the material that students are interested in or having trouble with.

 Research Paper (20% of final grade) 

This assignment offers students the opportunity to develop important academic skills such as developing an argument and using textual evidence. References and citation should reflect the ASA Style Guide The canvas course has a tab to the UT Austin reference librarian for sociology students and a link to an ASA style guide. Please use both resources to help you with your paper.

 Students are encouraged to seek assistance with their writing at the UT Undergraduate Writing Center (

Mid-Session Exam (20% of finalgrade)

The Mid-Session exam includes multiple choice and short answer questions about any of the course readings, activities, or films that we have covered.

Presentation (20% of final grade)

Each student will do a five-minute presentation about their research paper during the last two days of classes.


Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

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