Percentage of minority students stays stagnant at other elite colleges, rises at Duke
To some, affirmative action might be seen as a quota-based endeavor, said Jay Pearson, assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. However, he clarified that in reality it operates as a goal-driven program to combat social disparities.
“Affirmative action is actually a social equity program," Pearson said, "and social equity programs are conceived of and brought into being to acknowledge historical structural and institutional impediments to full inclusion in society for certain targeted populations."
He added that although affirmative action is now thought of in the context of race, it was initially lower class and lower working class white women who disproportionately benefited from affirmative action programs in terms of access to high quality formal education.
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