Skip to Main Content

Prof. Braun HSERV200 - Racial and Social Justice


  • Purpose of this Assignment:
    • To demonstrate an understanding of the sociological concepts of prejudice, stereotyping, racism and conflict between diverse groups of people;
    • To conduct research on a topic related to the sociological concepts of this course
  • Instructions:  Write a 5-7 page, MLA style, double-spaced paper. Cite the film ‘Crash’ as well as your 2+ scholarly articles. Include reference to definitions from your textbook and from class notes. All references should be cited both in the text of your paper and on the Reference page at the end of your paper.

  • Structure of Paper:

Introduction: Clearly articulate what this paper will be about:

    • Purpose of this paper-i.e. examine concept of systemic racism; examine conflict theory of intergroup relations; explore racism between groups of people; etc.
    • Method- i.e. analyzing content from the film ‘CRASH’ and researching current reporting of events that illustrate the concepts of systemic racism

Part 1: Concepts: Prejudice, Racism, Stereotyping, and Inter-group Conflict

  • Overview of Concepts: Explain why the film ‘CRASH’ was chosen for this paper.  Give an overview of how the movie illustrates the concepts of this course, such as racism and conflict between different ethnic and social groups.  DO NOT GIVE A FILM REVIEW.  You must extrapolate meaning from the film.  You may describe parts of scenes to support your thinking but do not waste paragraphs and paragraphs quoting the film or regurgitating the plot.
  • Dominant and Minoritized Social Groups: What is a ‘dominant’ group?  What are the qualities (privileges, advantages) of people in this category?  What groups of people in our society tend to be socially dominant?  Which character(s) in the film represent the Dominant group in society?  Explain in detail why you think those characters represent social dominance.  What is a ‘minority’ or ‘minoritized’ group? Are there any characters who represent social dominance in some ways (race, class, gender) but also are members of minoritized groups (race, class, gender)?  Explain thoroughly.
  • Stereotyping – Explain/define the concept of stereotyping.  Give at least two specific examples from the film of how characters are stereotyped and how they stereotype others.
  • Systemic Racism – define and explain in depth. Describe a specific scene from the movie that depicts systemic racism. Explain clearly why you chose that scene.
  • Conflict Theory of Intergroup Relations – Define Conflict Theory of Intergroup Relations. Describe a specific scene from the movie that illustrates Conflict Theory between two ethnic/racial groups. Be specific about what it is that these groups are in conflict/competition for (ex. jobs, money, respect, power).

Part 2: Research on Current Topic

  • Identify a current topic on Diversity and Social Justice that you are interested in: Clearly state the topic and explain what it is and why you are interested in studying it.
  • Research and Find at LEAST 2 recent New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic or a scholarly academic journal articles on your topic
  • Briefly Summarize the main points of the articles.  Note: The articles do not necessarily have to relate back to the film, CRASH.
  • Use proper MLA format to cite your articles, both in the body of Part 2 of this paper AND in a ‘Works Cited’ page at the end of your paper.

  • Conclusion - Summarize the main themes of this paper and articulate something new that you have learned or realized by doing this paper and from class discussions related to racism, sexism, or some other aspect of systemic discrimination.


Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence!

Westchester Community College provides accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning.

Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Tel: (914) 606-6600