"Can We All Get Along?" Classroom Resources

Instructor and Student Materials for "Can We All Get Along?", 7th Edition

Available Resources

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Student Resources

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Study Questions


Chapter One: America’s Dilemmas

  1. What are the two main dilemmas specific to racial and ethnic minorities in American politics that are highlighted/examined within the text?
  2. Define, then compare and contrast race and ethnicity.
  3. What is classical liberalism? How did it shape the structure of the American political system? How did it help to justify racial/ethnic discrimination?
  4. Define citizenship and suffrage. How are these concepts related and why are they important in the context of the American governmental structure?
  5. Why were citizenship and suffrage denied to racial and ethnic minorities for a significant span of the history of the nation? What are the social and political ramifications of denying voting rights to a population?
  6. What does the phrase “continuing salience of race” mean? How do we see this in action currently?
  7. What examples demonstrate that race is socially, rather than biologically, constructed?


Chapter Two: Resources and Status of America’s Racial Minorities

  1. What are population size and concentration? What is socioeconomic status? Why do they matter for racial and ethnic minorities in the context of American politics?
  2. What is the connection between poverty/homeownership/education status/employment status and political participation?
  3. Define “dominated groups” and explain the connection to social movements.
  4. What is a social movement? What are the four prerequisites for a social movement?
  5. Identify three social movements specific to racial and ethnic minority groups and indicate the methods/strategies used in each.
  6. What is the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and why was it necessary?
  7. What are grandfather clauses and white primaries? What is vote dilution?
  8. How can cumulative voting help to resolve voting imbalances for minority populations?
  9. What are the results of the Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder (2013) ruling?


Chapter Three: America’s Racial Minorities in the Contemporary Political System

  1. What is pluralism? Is it reasonable to apply this theory to communities of color? Why or why not?
  2. Why are conceptual/theoretical frameworks important in political examinations of racial/ethnic groups?
  3. What is the difference between voter turnout (as normally calculated) and voter turnout among registered voters? Why is this distinction important, especially in the context of racial and ethnic minorities?
  4. What is the relationship between ideology and partisanship for each racial/ethnic minority group?
  5. How did racial and ethnic minority group issues, interests, and concerns factor into the 2000-2016 presidential elections?
  6. Why are interest groups important for racial and ethnic minorities in the American political context?


Chapter Four: America’s Racial Minorities in the Contemporary Political System

  1. What are the five stages of the policymaking process?
  2. Why is agenda setting of particular importance for racial/ethnic minority groups?
  3. What is federalism?
  4. How does the ability of racial/ethnic minorities to influence politics vary at the national, state, and local levels? Why?
  5. What is affirmative action?
  6. How have schools worked toward resegregation? Indicate the policies that have been and are being used.


Chapter Five: Intersectional Identity in Racial and Ethnic Politics

  1. What is intersectional identity and what is the argument for examining identity with an intersectional approach?
  2. Why is it important to examine racial and ethnic minorities that possess other oppressed identity dimensions when studying racial and ethnic minority politics as a whole?
  3. Identify at least five identity dimensions that are salient in the United States and that constitute important aspects of intersectional identity (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity).
  4. Why are people with multiple disadvantaged identities at times more likely to have increased political consciousness and increased political activism?
  5. Identify ways in which people are viewed and treated differently based on various intersectional identities in the context of the criminal justice system.
  6. Identify ways in which people are viewed and treated differently based on various intersectional identities in the context of workers’ rights.
  7. What are some of the barriers for women of color as they running for political office?


Chapter Six: Coalition or Competition?: Patterns of Interminority Group Relations

  1. What is coalition politics?
  2. What are the 4 tenets/bases for creating coalitions across races and ethnic groups?
  3. What is the influence of population size on the likelihood of a group seeking to form a coalition?
  4. What are the circumstances under which interminority coalitions will form? Interminority competition?
  5. What accounts for differing levels of negative stereotypes among Latinos, Blacks, and Whites in the South (Memphis, Little Rock, and Durham)?
  6. What is political incorporation?


Chapter Seven: Will We “All Get Along”?

  1. What are the two main dilemmas in the area of racial and ethnic politics that are addressed in the book?
  2. What are two ways of interpreting “we” in the question “can we all get along”? How does differentiating between these interpretations influence the likelihood of interminority coalition or competition?
  3. What are the circumstances under which we can expect to see the development of interracial coalitions? Interracial competition?
  4. Identify 3 examples of types of policies at the state or national level that have targeted racial and ethnic minorities in a negative way since the 1990s.
  5. Why might we expect that racial and ethnic minorities will continue to play a larger role in the political environment in the US in the future?

Online Resources


Chapter One: America’s Dilemmas


Chapter Two: Resources and Status of America’s Racial Minorities


Chapter Three: America’s Racial Minorities in the Contemporary Political System


Chapter Four: America’s Racial Minorities in the Contemporary Political System


Chapter Five: Intersectional Identity in Racial and Ethnic Politics


Chapter Six: Coalition or Competition?: Patterns of Interminority Group Relations


Chapter Seven

Instructor Resources

Transition Guide
A Transition Guide is available for professors who are considering “Can We All Get Along?” 7th Edition for their courses. Please fill out the request form, and a press representative will be in touch to grant access.

Test Bank
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Lecture Slides
Lecture slides for each chapter, including the art from the book, are available for professors who adopt “Can We All Get Along?” 7th Edition for their courses. Please fill out the request form, and a press representative will be in touch shortly to grant access.

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