Note: This book crosses several disciplines--law, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Citations employ a social science rather than a legal format, since the former is likely to be more familiar to most readers.
It is not the use of the term preference that makes race- and gender-based decision- making unpopular. When polls ask whether race should be "a factor when deciding who is hired, promoted or admitted to college," the same negative reaction is registered as when the word preference is used; see Washington Post/ Kaiser Family Foundation/ Harvard University Survey, Washington Post, October 11, 1995, A1, A12. By contrast, veterans' "preferences" are broadly supported. The policy I advocate--class-based affirmative action-- will be used interchangeably with class preferences. I argue that class preferences are justified, and therefore do not shrink behind more euphemistic terms like class-conscious remedies to describe what is in fact a preference.