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AP/HREQ/ PPAS 4052 3.00 Race Ethnicity and Social Policy


Dr. Lorne Foster

Class: Tuesday 2:30 to 5:30 pm– VC 103
Term: Winter 2019

Office: 123 McLaughlin College

Office Hours: (by appointment)




Race and ethnicity are narratives and social categories that play a role in the reproduction of social, political and legal hierarchy, and create an important context for political decision-making. This course explores the ways that ideas and discourses about race and ethnicity shape how social policy is debated, adopted and implemented. Identifying the uneven policy effects on different social groups, it seeks a critical understanding of issues of inequity, oppression, and social exclusion from a social policy framework. This course confronts various ethnicity- and race-based social issues and contradictions inherent in liberal democratic societies evident in the persistent prominence of social, political, and economic stratification. In discussing the challenges and possibilities regarding the future of inclusive citizenship, the roles of various actors of policy making, including state actors, corporate actors and civil society in pursuing social justice and human rights in both the local and global contexts are also addressed. Through this course, policy development and analysis will be utilized as a tool , in a problem-based learning format, for understanding and impacting the prevailing social agenda from an ethnoracial perspective.





o To examine how society's racial and ethnic profile creates and important context for political decision-making.


o To develop a contextual understanding of social policy making process and policy effects;



o To appreciate the connections among social issues, social policy, and community advocacy practices;



o To develop skills of critical policy analysis and evaluation;



o To explore the strategies of social policy responses in the changing contexts and service needs;



o To raise awareness about social, economic, cultural and political issues, while breaking down stereotypes and promoting diversity.





The class procedure involves lectures, interactive discussion of the readings, occasional audio visual presentations and student presentations. Students are expected to attend classes and tutorials with reading assignments completed in order to facilitate tutorial discussions. Additional materials relevant to the topic readings will be introduced as lecture material.





Lorne Foster, Les Jacobs, Bobby Siu & Shaheen Azmi.

2018   Racial Profiling and Human Rights in Canada: The New Legal Landscape. Toronto: Irwin Law. ISBN 973-1-55221-483-1.





The Atlas of Public Policy and Management –



Each student’s performance will be evaluated as follows:


Class participation (this means class attendance and discussion)


Minor Paper(February 12)


Essay (March 26)


Note*: The instructor reserves the right to make changes to this course outline after consultation with the full class.



January 08

Distribution of Course Outline and Introductions.

January 15

Racial Profiling & Human Rights, Ch. 1 – Defining Racial Profiling


January 22

Racial Profiling & Human Rights, Ch. 6 – “Singled Out” Being Black in the Suburbs


January 29

Racial Profiling & Human Rights, Ch. 7 – The Reframing of Racial Profiling


February 05

Ron Melchers. 2003. Do Toronto Police Engage in Racial Profiling? Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, July. (on-line)


Scot Wortley and Julian Tanner. 2004. "Discrimination or "Good" Policing? The Racial Profiling Debate in Canada." Our Diverse Cities. (on-line)


February 12

Minor Paper

February 19

Winter Reading Week

February 26

Matthew C. Nisbet. 2007. "Communicating About Poverty and Low-Wage Work: A New Agenda." The Mobility Agenda A Special Initiative of Inclusion, October (on-line)


March 05

Mellissa Shin. 2008. Diversity Survey: Immigrants face a "sticky floor" rather than a glass ceiling, but change is fast approaching. No Room For Talent? Corporate Knights Diversity Issue. (on-line)


March 12

Racial Profiling & Human Rights, Ch. 9 – Racial Profiling of Women in Canada


March 19

Racial Profiling & Human Rights, Ch. 8 – Damaged Goods: A Critical perspective on Consumer Racial Profiling in Ontario’s Retail Environment


March 26 

Major Essay Due



Grading, Assignment Submission, Lateness Penalties and Missed Tests

Grading:  The grading scheme for the course conforms to the 9-point grading system used in undergraduate programs at York (e.g., A+ = 9, A = 8, B+ - 7, C+ = 5, etc.).  Assignments and tests* will bear either a letter grade designation or a corresponding number grade (e.g.  A+ = 90 to 100, A = 80 to 90, B+ = 75 to 79, etc.)  (For a full description of York grading system see the York University Undergraduate Calendar –

Assignment Submission: Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time.  Accordingly, assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment.  Written assignments are to be handed in to the Course Instructor in person and students must retain a computer copy.

Lateness Penalty: Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one-half grade letter per day that the assignment is late. Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., may be entertained by the Course Instructor but will require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).

Students need to be aware that requests for extensions in regard to research/essays where the assignments where provided at the beginning of the semester and are due at the end will not be entertained for any reason.

Missed Tests:  Students with a documented reason for missing a course test, such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., which is confirmed by supporting documentation (e.g., doctor’s letter) may request accommodation from the Course Instructor. Accommodation will entail a make-up test on a date and time specified by the Course Instructor. Further extensions or accommodation will require students to submit a formal petition to the Faculty.

Important York Policies

Academic Honesty: LA&PS as a Faculty considers breaches of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty to be serious matters. To quote the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty:

The Policy on Academic Honesty is an affirmation and clarification for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. As a clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, the policy recognizes the general responsibility of all faculty members to foster acceptable standards of academic conduct and of the student to be mindful of and abide by such standards.

Suspected breaches of academic honesty will be investigated and charges shall be laid if reasonable and probable grounds exist.

Students should review the York Academic Honesty policy for themselves at: 

Students might also wish to review the interactive on-line Tutorial for students on academic integrity, at: 

Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy: The grading scheme (i.e. kinds and weights of assignments, essays, exams, etc.) shall be announced, and be available in writing, within the first two weeks of class, and, under normal circumstances, graded feedback worth at least 15% of the final grade for Fall, Winter or Summer Term, and 30% for ‘full year’ courses offered in the Fall/Winter Term be received by students in all courses prior to the final withdrawal date from a course without receiving a grade, with the following exceptions:

  • graduate or upper level undergraduate courses where course work typically, or at the instructor's discretion, consists of a single piece of work and/or is based predominantly (or solely) on student presentations ( e.g. honours theses or graduate research papers not due by the drop date, etc.);
  • practicum courses;
  • ungraded courses;
  • courses in Faculties where the drop date occurs within the first 3 weeks of classes;
  • courses which run on a compressed schedule (a course which accomplishes its academic credits of work at a rate of more than one credit hour per two calendar weeks ).

Note: Under unusual and/or unforeseeable circumstances which disrupt the academic norm, instructors are expected to provide grading schemes and academic feedback in the spirit of these regulations, as soon as possible.

For more information on the Grading Scheme and Feedback Policy, please visit: 

In-Class Tests and Exams - the 20% Rule

For all Undergraduate courses, except those which regularly meet on Friday evening or on a weekend, tests or exams worth more than 20% will not be held in the two weeks prior to the beginning of the official examination period. For further information on the 20% Rule, please visit:

For further information on examination scheduling, and Atkinson examination exceptions to this rule, please refer to the "Notes" in the table:  


Students may, with sufficient academic grounds, request that a final grade in a course be reappraised (which may mean the review of specific pieces of tangible work). Non-academic grounds are not relevant for grade reappraisals; in such cases, students are advised to petition to their home Faculty. Students are normally expected to first contact the course director to discuss the grade received and to request that their tangible work be reviewed. Tangible work may include written, graphic, digitized, modeled, video recording or audio recording formats, but not oral work.

Students need to be aware that a request for a grade reappraisal may result in the original grade being raised, lowered or confirmed.

For reappraisal procedures and information, please visit the Office of the Registrar site at:

Accommodation Procedures:

LA&PS students who have experienced a misfortune or who are too ill to attend an examination in an Atkinson course should not attempt to do so; they must pursue deferred standing. Other students should contact their home Faculty for information. For further information, please visit: 

Religious Accommodation

York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community, and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents.

For more information on religious accommodation, please visit: 

Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
(Senate Policy)

The nature and extent of accommodations shall be consistent with and supportive of the integrity of the curriculum and of the academic standards of programs or courses.

Provided that students have given sufficient notice about their accommodation needs, instructors shall take reasonable steps to accommodate these needs in a manner consistent with the guidelines established hereunder. For more information please visit the Disabilities Services website at 

Alternate Exams and Tests

York’s disabilities offices and the Registrar’s Office work in partnership to support alternate exam and test accommodation services for students with disabilities at the Keele campus. For more information on alternate exams and tests please visit 

Please alert the Course Director as soon as possible should you require special accommodations. For questions relating to academic accommodations, please contact the LA&PS Counseling and Supervision Centre: