The Affirmative Action Debate

By George E. Curry | Go to book overview

than men will come to an end. One aspect of women's human capital accumulation, their tendency to increase their years in the labor market, does have room to grow considerably before reaching equality with men's lifetime work experience. Eventually, even by that measure women will achieve parity with men.

Third, it is likely that some of the demand-side factors that have encouraged women's labor force participation and led to their rapid accumulation of work experience will also become less important. The growth of spending and employment in health care, education, and social services -- all areas that have provided women with professional opportunities -- is likely to slow along with slower growth of the public sector.

Trends in the factors enumerated here have all tended in the recent past to create the illusion that affirmative action has helped women tremendously. But as we have seen, affirmative action, when enforced, has had a modest effect in the intended direction. That modest effect will be even more needed by women in the future as the other trends that have favored growth in their earnings and employment opportunities begin to wane.


NOTES
1.
The author would like to acknowledge the assistance of Jodi Burns and Beth Dolan in collecting data, producing tables and figures, and editing the manuscript.
2.
Lois Shaw et al., "The Impact of the Class Ceiling and Structural Change on Women and Minorities" (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association, Boston, January 1994).
3.
Occupational status is inferred from occupational distribution, with managers and professionals being considered the highest- status occupations.
4.
Barbara Reskin, Sex Segregation in the Workplace, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 19( 1993), pp. 241-270.
5.
Cited in Jay Mathews, "Reevaluating Affirmative Action," Washington Post, July 4, 1995.
6.
Barbara Bergmann, In Defense of Affirmative Action ( New York: Basic Books, 1996).

-95-

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The Affirmative Action Debate
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • With Contributions By ii
  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - The Beginning 1
  • Staying on the Path to Racial Equality 3
  • To Fulfill These Rights 16
  • A Personal Footnote in History 25
  • Affirmative Action in Context 31
  • 2 - On the Job 36
  • Affirmative Action in the Workplace 39
  • Performing Without a Net 49
  • Performing Without a Net 49
  • Diversity in Corporate America 76
  • Notes 76
  • Who Has Benefited from Affirmative Action in Employment? 95
  • 3 - The Economics of Affirmative Action 97
  • The Business of Affirmative Action 99
  • Personal Responsibility 111
  • Notes 119
  • Why America Needs Set-Aside Programs 121
  • 4 - A Question of Justice 127
  • An Experiment Gone Awry 130
  • Standing in the Right Place 137
  • Race and The Supreme Court's 1994-95 Term 146
  • The Supreme Court Ruled Correctly in Adarand 163
  • 5 - Beyond Black and White 165
  • The Minority-Majority Society 167
  • Why Women Need Affirmative Action 182
  • Notes 182
  • Invisible Latinos: Excluded from Discussions of Inclusion 190
  • The Latinos Experience 190
  • Beyond the Model Minority Myth 205
  • 6 - In the Field 208
  • Sitting in for Diversity Victoria Valle 210
  • Notes 215
  • The Color Line and the "Thin Blue Line" 226
  • Affirmative Action in the Army: Why It Works 227
  • 7 - The Political Issue 239
  • Tracing the Politics of Affirmative Action 241
  • Notes 256
  • Mend It, Don't End It 258
  • The Meaning of American Equality 285
  • Race-Baiting and the 1996 Presidential Campaign 288
  • 8 - Closing Arguments 297
  • Affirmative Action: Why We Need It, Why It is Under Attack 299
  • Note 313
  • Promoting Racial Harmony 314
  • The Future of Affirmative Action 326
  • Bibliography 337
  • About the Editor 343
  • About the Contributors 345
  • Index 355
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