A PRIMER ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
ONE OF THE CURIOUS THINGS about the way affirmative action works in higher education is that although it is widely misunderstood by the public and even many seeming “insiders,” scholars of all political stripes agree on many of its basic characteristics and effects. If you haven’t been following the literature, some of what we will describe in this chapter may shock you, but virtually none of it is controversial among scholars who have studied the relevant data (we will make note where particular features of the system are still uncertain or debated). What follows is a guide to its general operations and vocabulary; this will make the stories in later chapters easier to follow.
1. Contemporary affirmative ...