Sex, Race, and Merit: Debating Affirmative Action in Education and Employment
Since its inception, affirmative action has been a controversial policy, and on all sides of the issue passions run high. Sometimes commentators have looked with clarity at the deep and complex issues surrounding affirmative action, but too often facts have been in shorter supply than misinformed opinions. Sex, Race, and Merit: Debating Affirmative Action in Education and Employment is designed to enhance intelligent discussion of the issues, presenting all sides of the controversy and working to separate fact from fiction.
Sex, Race, and Merit brings together a rich array of material, including newspaper articles and essays by leading scholars. including William Bowen, Derek Bok, Barbara Bergmann, Christopher Edley, Barbara Reskin, Claude Steele, and Patricia Williams. Also featured are excerpts from primary sources, including the legislative documents that established affirmative action policy; the text of California Proposal 200, which ended such policy in that state; and excerpts from key legal cases, including the Bakke case and other recent cases.
Sex, Race, and Merit is a useful tool in eliciting thoughtful, informed, and useful debate on the subject of affirmative action. It neither advocates in favor of affirmative action, nor does it speak against it. Rather, by including both factual and polemical materials, the book allows readers to explore the contours of the debate as well as the facts being debated. It is designed for an audience of nonspecialist readers, including students from secondary school through college, but will also be useful to scholars interested in the evolution and current status of this critical policy debate.
Faye J. Crosby is Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz. Cheryl VanDeVeer is Director of the Document Publishing and Editing Center, University of California, Santa Cruz.
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