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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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The Ironies of Affirmative Action

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John David SkrentnyAssistant Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA

ISBN13: 9780226761787
ISBN: 0226761789
Published: April 1996
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Format: Paperback
Price: £21.00

Analyzing both the resistance from the Right and the support from the Left, Skrentny brings to light the moral culture that has shaped the affirmative action debate, allowing for starkly different policies for different citizens. He also shows, through an analysis of historical documents and court rulings, the complex and intriguing political circumstances which gave rise to these controversial policies.;By exploring the mystery of how it took less than five years for a colour-blind policy to give way to one that explicitly took race into account, Skrentny uncovers and explains surprising ironies: that affirmative action was largely created by white males and initially championed during the Nixon administration; that many civil rights leaders at first avoided advocacy of racial preferences; and that though originally a political taboo, almost no one resisted affirmative action.

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Preface 1: The Ironies of Affirmative Action 2: The Appeal of Color-Blindness 3: American Justice, Acceptable Preference, and the Boundaries of Legitimate Policymaking 4: Crisis Management through Affirmative Action 5: Administrative Pragmatism and the Affirmative Action Solution 6: Affirmative Action as Tradition 7: Creative Destruction in the Nixon Administration 8: Conclusion: Culture, Politics and Affirmative Action Notes