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ERIC Number: ED167680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep-9
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Equality of Opportunity and Equal Protection: Ideas and Interpretation in Flux.
Prager, Jeffrey
To understand the parameters of the debate over affirmative action is to better comprehend important conflicts within the American national ideology. The dispute over affirmative action has been the vehicle for a discourse about fundamental social understandings. One central aspect of this debate has been over the meaning of the concept of equality of opportunity. Nowhere have different understandings of this concept emerged more sharply and clearly than in recent court decisions concerned with the constitutionality of special admission programs. The Bakke decision represents a reaffirmation by the courts of the traditional, hegemonic conception of the social order which currently prevails. In contrast, the DeFunis ruling challenges this dominant, hegemonic conception. These decisions arguing for the constitutionality of special admission programs suggest that important social changes are occurring in the society. Sociological sources contributing to these changes include the notion of racial justice which emerged from the black political struggle in the 1960s and the concept of institutional racism which came from the attention paid to group cultural differences by social science research. The concepts of cultural differences and cultural bias, coupled with an understanding of institutional racism, have provided the ideological bulwark in defense of affirmative action and special admission programs. (Author/EB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bakke v Regents of University of California; Defunis v Odegaard
Note: Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Sociology Association (San Francisco, California, September 5-9, 1978)