Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2018

Publication Title

Journal of Higher Education

Volume

90

Issue

20

Abstract

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 have argued that elite institutions of higher education are using negative action against Asian American applicants, so they can admit other students of color instead by using race-conscious affirmative action. We examined the surrounding controversy, while 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 centered 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.

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