ERIC Number: ED394433
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Right Stuff: White Male Perspectives on Merit, Measurement, and Affirmative Action Admissions to Graduate Professional Schools.
Lipson, Helen D.
This exploratory study examines several facets of everyday perspectives on merit and the meritocratic allocation of rewards and opportunities, focusing on race-targeted, affirmative action admissions of Blacks and Latinos to law schools, medical schools, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. Subjects were 32 white, male college students, aged 20 to 35 years, who were in or were considering these fields of study at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Subjects came from working class/blue collar and professional/managerial families of origin. Subjects were asked to consider and discuss the merits of nine different approaches to achieving student-body diversity; three involved quotas or targets. Most striking from the results was the degree of common ground, up and down the policy preference spectrum, among these men of diverse lifestyles and political perspectives. Yet there was substantial disagreement on the nature of professional/managerial merit, how it should be measured, and the salience of merit to the equitable distribution of career opportunities. Of primary concern was the issue of collective utility or the consequences for health care, jurisprudence, economic growth, and the general welfare if those of insufficient capacity were to achieve critical positions in the professions or the business community. Principal issues included whether Blacks and Latinos already enjoy a fair chance to achieve their potentials and how far collective accountability should extend to ensure that they do. Actual responses are included. (Contains 16 references.) (NAV)
Descriptors: Achievement Rating, Affirmative Action, Black Students, College Admission, College Students, Diversity (Institutional), Equal Education, Ethnic Bias, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Integration Readiness, Males, Minority Groups, Racial Attitudes, Racial Balance, Racial Composition, Recognition (Achievement), School Demography, Student Attitudes, White Students
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Latinos; University of Illinois Chicago
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-13, 1996).