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ERIC Number: ED513185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 406
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4100-6
Race and the Limits of American Meritocracy
Samson, Frank L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University
Do whites' views about the importance of traditional meritocratic criteria become malleable when they are confronted with circumstances in which Asians appear to be surpassing, whites under the current rules of the game? In the United States, the relative success of Asians compared to whites on various socioeconomic status indicators (college degrees, median earnings, and professional-managerial occupational concentration) as well as the over-representation of Asians at elite higher educational institutions present an emerging social context in which to study commitment to the idea of meritocracy as it relates to public university admissions. Using a survey-based experiment on a random sample of California adults, a lab-based experiment on college students at a highly-selective, private university, and qualitative analyses of in-depth interviews, public hearing transcripts, and public university documents, this project explores the role of race in the social construction and evaluation of merit for the purpose of public university admissions. The results of this research reveal that ethnoracial group threat, group stereotypes, and group position theory help predict whites' notions of merit and their policy attitudes towards public university admissions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California