Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2019 Issue »

    Asian Americans, Affirmative Action, and the Political Economy of Racism

    A Multidimensional Model of Raceclass Frames

    OIYAN A. POON, MEGAN S. SEGOSHI, LILIANNE TANG, KRISTEN L. SURLA, CARESSA NGUYEN, AND DIAN D. SQUIRE
    Utilizing a critical raceclass theory of education, OiYan A. Poon and colleagues analyze interviews with Asian Americans who have publicly advocated for or against affirmative action and acknowledged how their understandings of racial capitalism informed their perspectives and actions. Limited research has considered Asian American subjectivity in examining what shapes their diverse perspectives on affirmative action. This study adds to research on the racial politics of the debate, which has increasingly centered Asian Americans and their interests, and introduces a multidimensional model of raceclass frames representing different political perspectives and choices around affirmative action: abstract liberalism, ethnocentric nationalism, conscious compromise, and systemic transformation. The model offers insights on Asian American frames and ideologies of racism, capitalism, and education to account for their divergent political perspectives and choices in the affirmative action debate.

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    OiYan A. Poon is an associate professor of higher education and director of the Race & Intersectional Studies for Educational Equity (RISE) Center at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on the racial politics and discourses of college access, higher education policy, affirmative action, and Asian Americans. Her work has appeared in the Review of Educational Research, Review of Higher Education, and Journal of College Student Development, among other scholarly journals.

    Megan S. Segoshi is a higher education researcher with expertise in the areas of Asian Americans, racial identity development, and college access. She recently coauthored an amicus brief in the SFFA v. Harvard case, defending the consideration of race in admissions processes. Her professional experience includes working as a student affairs practitioner in multicultural affairs, instructor, and consultant.

    Lilianne Tang serves as the Social Justice and MultiCultural Programs Coordinator at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she manages and leads events, programs, and services that focus on the identity, culture, retention, and concerns of underrepresented students. Prior to starting her career in student affairs, she worked in college access advising students from low-income and first-generation backgrounds. She is passionate about educational equity in higher education and hopes to expand her work in institutional diversity and equity.

    Kristen L. Surla is a PhD student in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on critical approaches to administrative leadership and the influence of social identity and power on graduate student socialization. She currently works as a course coordinator doing instructor development for an undergraduate leadership course within the Department of Educational Administration.

    Caressa Nguyen serves as Title IX Investigator at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, New York. In this role, she has developed knowledge of how federal and state policies impact institutions of higher education. She is interested in understanding how law and policies affect equity and inclusion in higher education. In addition, she is a volunteer with AAMPLIFY, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit dedicated to empowering Asian American youth to pursue careers in law, government, and social enterprise.

    Dian D. Squire is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling–Student Affairs program at Northern Arizona University. He is guided by a belief that structural oppressions in higher education institutions must be scrutinized, understood, and addressed if those institutions are to realize their commonly held missions as places for personal development and service to the public good. He is dedicated to pursuing interdisciplinary anti-oppressive scholarship for the purposes of socially just institutional transformation.
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    Summer 2019 Issue

    Abstracts

    “Los Músicos”
    Mexican Corridos, the Aural Border, and the Evocative Musical Renderings of Transnational Youth
    CATI V. DE LOS RÍOS

    Book Notes

    Land-Grant Universities for the Future
    Stephen M. Gavazzi and E. Gordon Gee

    Classroom Cultures
    Michelle G. Knight-Manuel and Joanne E. Marciano

    Ghosts in the Schoolyard
    Eve L. Ewing

    Data and Teaching
    Joseph P. McDonald, Nora M. Isacoff, and Dana Karin