ERIC Number: ED342308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Affirmative Action and the Formation of Informal Interracial Groups on the College Campus: Report to the Spencer Foundation. Reporting Period: August, 1990-July 1991.
Nacoste, Rupert Barnes; And Others
This paper reports on a study designed to investigate how white college students' naive beliefs about affirmative action admission policies might negatively influence the likelihood of their interacting with their black student peers. It was noted that many institutions are not open about exactly how their affirmative action admissions policies work with the consequence that white students do not understand and make incorrect assumptions about how affirmative action students were admitted. Using a program of experimental research for testing variants of the social distance hypothesis, two studies were carried out. The first study measured white students' beliefs about student racial ambivalence and found that students who believed that affirmative action students were underqualified showed reluctance to associate with black students. In the second experiment students were organized by levels of racial ambivalence and by beliefs about beneficiaries' qualifications with results showing that white students chose to associate with black students more if they believed that they were qualified. Overall, the findings indicated that the formation of informal groups was influenced by procedure-based beliefs about the extent to which affirmative action leads to the selection of qualified or unqualified black students. Included are 4 tables and 29 references. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh.