Is Race Neutrality a Fallacy? A Comparison of the U.S. and French Models of Affirmative Action in Higher Education

By Ledford, Danielle | Texas International Law Journal, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

Is Race Neutrality a Fallacy? A Comparison of the U.S. and French Models of Affirmative Action in Higher Education


Ledford, Danielle, Texas International Law Journal


SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 356

I. UNITED STATES-AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION AS PERMITTED BY GRUTTER ................................................................................... 358

A. Race and Education? The Achievement Gap .......................................... 358

B. Current Affirmative Action Frame work? Grutter and Recognition of "Diversity" as an Educational Benefit ....................................................... 359

II. FRANCE-THE SCIENCES PO EXPERIMENT IN "CLASS-BASED" AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ....................................................................................... 362

A. The Status of Immigrants of Color in France ........................................... 362

B. The French Educational System and the Grandes Ecoles ....................... 363

C The Sciences Po Experiment ...................................................................... 364

D. France's "Race-Blind" Legal Framework and Challenge to the Sciences Po Experiment .............................................................................. 365

III. THE DEBATE OVER RACE-NEUTRAL, CLASS-BASED AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ................................................................................................................. 368

A. The Argument for Race-Neutral Affirmative Action ............................... 369

B. Parents Involved ? Could the United States Be Moving Toward a Race-Neutral System? ................................................................................. 370

IV. WHAT CAN THE FRENCH MODEL TELL US? ...................................................... 373

A. The Difficulty of Setting Parameters .......................................................... 373

B. Is a Truly Race-Blind System Possible? .................................................... 376

C. Public Opinion and Criticism of the Preference System .......................... 377

V. CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................ 377

INTRODUCTION

For the past several decades, an intense debate has swirled around affirmative action programs, especially those with race-based preferences. Proponents of raceconscious programs have argued that they are needed to correct centuries of racial oppression and discrimination, while many opponents push for class-oriented remedies that will compensate for economic inequalities among both underrepresented minorities and whites. In the United States, as current law stands, race-conscious affirmative action is permissible under certain parameters. In the realm of higher education, Grutter v. Bollinger allows universities to use raceconscious preference programs for the goal of increasing diversity as a benefit to the educational experience, so long as each applicant is given an individualized assessment in which race is one of many factors.1 The recent Supreme Court plurality opinion in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, however, raised a serious question about the permissibility under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause of any race-conscious preference program in the educational context, although it left Grutter undisturbed for now.2

Within the last decade, France has also begun to try its hand at preference programs similar to what Americans would call affirmative action. The most prominent effort is the one made by Institut d'?tudes Politiques de Paris, often called "Sciences Po," to increase diversity among its overwhelmingly white, privileged student body.3 The barrier to any effort directed specifically at including France's growing and increasingly marginalized population of immigrants of color is the French constitutional prohibition of any distinction based on race, religion, or ethnic origin. …

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

Is Race Neutrality a Fallacy? A Comparison of the U.S. and French Models of Affirmative Action in Higher Education
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.