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Race and Ethnicity: An Introduction

This ten-week evening course will introduce participants to theories of race, ethnicity and conflict. By situating race and ethnicity in relation to other social divisions such as class and gender, it explores the social, economic, political and ideological implications of these concepts in the context of a changing world and a changing Ireland. Areas explored include the links between racialisation and the asylum/migration processes, the Traveller Community’s fight for ethnic recognition, and Islamophobia and the refugee crisis. In addition, the course will also examine the position of race, ethnicity and communal identity in western liberal approaches to conflict and intervention. This will focus on the way racism has informed the conduct of war, and of peace-building around the world.

The course welcomes all participants and is particularly suited to those involved in social justice activism, the public sector and NGO work.

Topics Include

  • The conceptual confusion around ‘race’
  • Ethnic and national identity: The politics of difference
  • What is racism? Racialising the 'other'
  • Racism in Irish society: Immigration, Travellers and the asylum process
  • State responses and anti-racism strategies: multiculturalism, interculturalism, strategic essentialism
  • Communal Conflict
  • The liberal peace, liberal intervention and Northern Ireland
  • The ‘cultural turn’ in war and counter-insurgency

How to apply

Apply in advance by sending your name, correspondence address and cheque (made payable to Trinity College Dublin no. 1 account) to the Executive Officer, Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2.

Application forms are available to download from


EUR 175 for each course. Payment must accompany enrolment (asylum seekers free on application), payable to Trinity College Dublin no. 1 account.

Date, time and place

The course will be run twice on Tuesdays, 6pm - 8pm in Michaelmas Term (26th September – 16th December 2016) and Hilary Term (16th January – 7th April 2017).

Please note that a minimum of 14 participants are required to offer the course.

Further Information

Executive Officer, Sociology Department email: