Northwestern Events Calendar


IPR Colloquium: A. Chen (IPR/Soc.) - Before Bakke: The Hidden History of the Diversity Rationale

When: Monday, January 11, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Patricia Reese   (847) 491-8712

Group: Institute For Policy Research

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


“Before Bakke: The Hidden History of the Diversity Rationale” 

by Anthony Chen, Associate Professor of Sociology and IPR Fellow

This event is part of the 2021 Fay Lomax Cook IPR Colloquium Series.

Abstract: The idea that diversity is educationally beneficial remains central to the ongoing struggle over the future of affirmative action in college and university admissions. But where did the idea come from, and when did it begin to shape the thinking and action of admissions officers and other administrators in higher education? The conventional wisdom traces the emergence of the “diversity rationale” to the social and political tumult of the 1970s, often focusing on the famous Bakke case in 1978. Drawing on their research in the primary sources, Anthony S. Chen and Lisa M. Stulberg find that the “diversity rationale” originated more than fifteen years earlier at a very different moment in time. This talk presents their findings and discusses the broader implications.

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