Discussion Questions

  • If genetic differences between people who have different physical characteristics (like skin color) are minor, why do we as a society continue to use race as a socially significant category?

  • As noted in the chapter, racial residential segregation remains a key problem in the United States. What sociological factors explain its persistence in an era when housing discrimination is illegal?

  • What links have researchers identified between race and health outcomes in the United States? What sociological factors explain relatively poorer health among minorities than among Whites? How might public policy be used to address this problem?

  • Do you think immigration will continue to grow in coming decades in the United States? What kinds of factors might influence immigration trends?

  • What factors make communities vulnerable to genocide? How should other countries respond when genocide seems imminent or is already under way?