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The Journal of Higher Education



This article uses philosophical analysis to clarify the arguments and claims about racial discrimination brought forward in the recent legal challenges to affirmative action in higher education admissions. Affirmative action opponents argue that elite institutions of higher education are using negative action against Asian American applicants so that they can admit other students of color instead, using race-conscious affirmative action. We examine the surrounding controversy, positing that the portrayal of Asian Americans as a model minority in this debate foments a politics of resentment that divides racial groups. Our analysis centers on how key concepts such as racial discrimination and diversity may be central to this politics of resentment. Given persistent threats to access and equity in higher education, it is important to gain conceptual clarity about the racial politics of anti-affirmative action efforts.


This is the author's final manuscript version of this article. See here for published version: