American Sociological Association

ASA's Response to the Justice Department’s Recent Action Regarding Affirmative Action

August 30, 2017

The U.S. Justice Department recently indicated that it would begin working on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”  The American Sociological Association (ASA) is concerned that this may fundamentally threaten the viability of affirmative action, a policy which ASA has vigorously defended based on scientific evidence demonstrating positive impact such as improvements in critical thinking and problem-solving for all students, greater cross-racial understanding, and reduction of racial isolationism. Rather than being a form of reverse discrimination, affirmative action creates a more diverse and inclusive environment which benefits all students.  We draw attention to amicus briefs written by the American Educational Research Association in 2012 and 2015 which enumerate these benefits and to which ASA was a signatory.


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