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April 02, 2003

Free Reads -- Stanley Rothman on Affirmative Action

Friedrich --

I'm a few days late getting to this, as I often am, but even so: did you run across Stanley Rothman's op-ed piece in the NYTimes about affirmative action? It's a good one.

Sample passage:

Diversity fails to deliver even when all else is equal. When we controlled for other demographic and institutional factors like the respondent's race, gender, economic background and religion, or an institution's public or private status, selectivity and whether it offers an ethnic or racial studies program, the results were surprising. A higher level of diversity is associated with somewhat less educational satisfaction and worse race relations among students.

The piece can be read here. I was pleased to notice that he also included kids of Hispanic and Asian descent in his study -- groups that are all too often overlooked in discussions about diversity.

But I often like Rothman's work. Bizarrely enough, he's a Smith College prof -- bizarrely, because he seems as free of the usual Northhampton brainwashing as can be. I recently read a terrific book he co-wrote with S. Robert Lichter called Roots of Radicalism: Jews, Christians and the New Left (buyable here). Very helpful in terms of clarifying where "the '60s" came from, and very readable for a book of serious sociology.



posted by Michael at April 2, 2003


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