Why do we laugh at stereotypes? Where do our stereotypes come from? Do teachers stream students based on race? Is multiculturalism segregating Canadians into ‘ethnic enclaves’? Do we need black-focused schools? Why do youth want to look gangsta? These are some of the questions we will examine in Sociology of Cultural Difference. Moving from theoretical perspectives on race, ethnicity, culture and stereotyping, this course takes students into a range of contemporary settings, from Hollywood to Bollywood, artist studios to courtrooms, schools to fashion runways, television to immigrant neighbourhoods. We will explore how notions of race, ethnicity, cultural difference, and stereotyping function, shaping our everyday life and the world around us. Using readings, videos, images, films, and other materials, we will question our own preconceptions and assumptions of key notions that pertain to cultural differences, such as race, ethnicity, whiteness, stereotypes, the exotic, beauty ideals, colonialism and multiculturalism. We will analyze and discuss how these notions permeate our popular culture, be it ethnic comedies, reality TV programs, fashion trends, visual art, or crossover Bollywood hits. We will also apply sociological perspectives on race, ethnicity, culture, and difference to recent debates about faith-based and black-focused schools, racial profiling, high school dropouts rates, and ethnically-segregated neighbourhoods.