Diversity and Community in the Academy
Affirmative Action in Faculty Appointments
By (author) Celia Wolf-Devine
Publication date:17 April 1997
Length of book:264 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
In the wake of court rulings that have forced university administrators to reevaluate affirmative action policies, this balanced, thoughtful book examines three typical defenses of those policies: that affirmative action compensates for past discrimination; that it provides role models and ensures diversity; and that it corrects for systemic bias against women and racial minorities. Wolf-Devine finds that none of these arguments justifies adopting affirmative action across the board, and she argues, contrary to most opponents of the policy, that some circumstances make affirmative action appropriate. Analyzing the cultural, economic, and political contexts in which affirmative action has been debated, she suggests ways to get around the current impasse over the issue without abandoning a commitment to social justice. The depth and balance of the book are enhanced by an appendix containing articles by noted legal expert George Rutherglen, distinguished philosopher James Rachels, and independent scholar Richard Rodriguez.
Devine gives an excellent background on the checkered history of the 'Affirmative Action' Concept.