Diversity's Missing Minority: Asian Pacific American Undergraduates' Attitudes toward Affirmative Action

By Inkelas, Karen Kurotsuchi | Journal of Higher Education, November-December 2003 | Go to article overview

Diversity's Missing Minority: Asian Pacific American Undergraduates' Attitudes toward Affirmative Action


Inkelas, Karen Kurotsuchi, Journal of Higher Education


The leaders of many colleges and universities across the United States have asserted that racial/ethnic diversity and multiculturalism are central to their teaching and learning missions (Association of American Universities, 1997), based in large part upon research that has linked diverse campus climates and educational outcomes like students' intellectual, moral, and civic development (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pederson, & Allen, 1999; Smith & Associates, 1997). Given the significance of these educational outcomes, it is important to understand the facets that shape institutional climates toward diversity. Peterson and Spencer (1990) have described campus climates as "current perceptions, attitudes, and expectations that define the institution and its members" (qtd. in Hurtado et al., 1999, p. iii). Thus, institutional climates toward diversity focus upon the views and experiences of students, faculty, and staff toward their campuses' racial environments. In the past few decades, students' perceptions concerning affirmative action have shaped the campus racial climate at many institutions, particularly those with selective admissions policies (Chang, Witt, Jones, & Hakuta, 1999). Accordingly, student attitudes toward affirmative action provide a lens into the college racial climate.

Despite considerable research on college students' attitudes toward affirmative action and related racial issues (for summaries of research, see Smith & Associates, 1997; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991), the views of Asian Pacific Americans are seldom studied in-depth and often discussed only in comparison to findings regarding other racial/ethnic groups (Osajima, 1991; Yonezawa & Antonio, 1996). In fact, after a comprehensive review of literature on how different racial/ethnic groups perceive their campus environments differently, Hurtado et al. (1999) conclude with a recommendation that more research is needed to study the experiences of Asian Pacific Americans. Similarly, other scholars have advanced that Asian Pacific Americans are the "invisible" population in American higher education, or the "missing" minority in the collegiate racial discourse (e.g., Hune & Chan, 1997; Osajima, 1995). Therefore, in order to illuminate the racial views of Asian Pacific Americans and thereby expand our knowledge on the perspectives that shape campus racial climates, this study examines the affirmative action attitudes of Asian Pacific American college students and the personal characteristics and facets of the college experience that influence their beliefs.

Background and Significance of the Study

Asian Pacific American college-student enrollment has skyrocketed in the past few decades, especially at some colleges and universities in states where affirmative action is the most hotly contested (Hune & Chan, 1997). Currently, APA students encompass between one-quarter and one-third of the enrollment at several of the nation's most competitive public and private institutions (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1998), despite the fact that Asian Pacific Americans comprise only 2-3% of the total American population (Humes & McKinnon, 1999). From 1976 to 1996, the number of Asian Americans in higher education increased by over 400% to over 823,000 in 1996 (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2001; Escueta & O'Brien, 1995). Moreover, it does not appear that this trend will diminish in the immediate future, given that Current Population Survey data reveals that Asian Pacific Americans are one of the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups in America and are more likely than any other racial/ethnic group to have attended at least four years of college by the age of 25 (Escueta & O'Brien, 1995; Humes & McKinnon, 1999).

Since Asian Pacific American enrollment will continue to expand in the 21st century, knowledge about the racial attitudes of APA students in campus racial discourses is of crucial importance for both research and institutional effectiveness. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Diversity's Missing Minority: Asian Pacific American Undergraduates' Attitudes toward Affirmative Action
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.