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ERIC Number: EJ837419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Reconsidering Affirmative Action in Education as a Good for the Disadvantaged
Jackson, Liz
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v6 n1 May 2008
Affirmative action in higher education remains a controversial topic in the US today, as it is tied in directly with citizens' varying conceptions of the larger society, and the importance of racial and other differences (in particular, socioeconomic class) in individual experiences and outcomes. This essay examines different arguments for and against race-based affirmative action in higher education, continually circling in on the question of in whose interests arguments for affirmative action are successfully being made. After reviewing philosophical underpinnings for affirmative action as a means to increase equality and social justice for blacks in US society, the author contrasts these approaches with the diversity argument sanctioned by the US Supreme Court in its recent decision in Grutter vs. Bollinger, arguing that unlike the former, this latter case defends affirmative action primarily on behalf of the political-economic majority in US society. Critically considering the complex interweaving of racist and capitalist conditions in contemporary experiences of racial oppression and ideological white supremacy in the US, this essay concludes with a critical assessment of affirmative action's potential to rectify systemic racism for the benefit of marginalized racialized groups, and to increase social justice and equality, lacking other movements toward alleviating other related exacerbating factors. (Contains 53 notes.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access