“Fisher v. University of Texas is one of the most important cases on higher education to be heard by the Supreme Court.” This is the beginning of a series of essays published in the American Sociological Association's quarterly magazine, Contexts.
In the report, along with Bret D. Asbury, Sigal Alon, Jennifer L. Pierce and John D. Skrentny, I discuss “affirmative inaction.” Each author takes a unique stance on affirmative action in education.
Here is an excerpt from my portion, “In Defense of Proxies”:
“When proxies produce a similar degree of racial diversity, they are superior to racial preferences. Proxies avoid the disadvantages associated with policies that directly use race, as there are costs and dangers to policies that legitimize grouping people by racial characteristics—even when statistically valid. If there is another way of getting to the same valued goal—racial diversity—without legitimizing race-based decision making, the alternative is to be favored. For instance, black and Latino students who are admitted by achieving at the top 10 percent of their high school class or having overcome economic obstacles are likely to face less stigma than those admitted through direct racial preference. And for those advocating progressive social policies, there is also a political danger of race-specific policies that signal to working-class whites that they have less in common with working-class blacks than they do with wealthy whites.”
Read the full collection of essays here.