Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2022 Issue »

    Bans and Signals

    Racial and Ethnic Differences in Applications to Elite Public Colleges in States With and Without Affirmative Action

    Pamela R. Bennett and Amy Lutz
    In this research article, Pamela R. Bennett and Amy Lutz offer new hypotheses about how state bans on affirmative action affect application decisions based on students’ beneficiary positions vis-à-vis affirmative action and evaluate them for black, white, Latino, and Asian American students separately. They posit that bans discourage applications to selective colleges from prospective students who benefit from affirmative action (black and Latino) and encourage applications from prospective students who do not benefit from the policy (white and Asian American). Members of nonbeneficiary groups that have strong academic credentials are more responsive to bans because they are best positioned for admission under restrictions on race-conscious admissions policies. Citing results from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002–2006, the authors show how state restrictions on race-conscious admissions have contributed to racial inequality in higher education by further drawing into elite institutions’ application pools racial groups that already account for most of their students while also raising the chances that students from those groups will be admitted.

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    Pamela R. Bennett (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4014-9275) is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and faculty affiliate in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research centers on social inequality as it relates to education and operates through residential segregation. Her research has received support from, among others, the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. Her work on race and higher education, focused on African Americans and Black immigrants, appears in the American Sociological Review and Sociology of Education. Her work on the educational consequences of residential segregation appears in Social Science Review and that on the applicability of affirmative action policy to housing, with Florent de Bodman, appears in The Dubois Review. Her recently published book, Parenting in Privilege or Peril: How Social Inequality Enables or Derails the American Dream, coauthored with Amy Lutz and Lakshmi Jayaram, investigates inequalities in the social contexts of working- and middle-class parents and their relationship to mobility-relevant parenting practices.

    Amy Lutz (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5318-710X) is an associate professor of Sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research interests include sociology of education, parenting, racial and ethnic inequality and immigration. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Spencer Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Her work has appeared in Sociology of Education, City and Community, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnic Studies Review, and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Her book with Pamela R. Bennett and Lakshmi Jayaram, Parenting in Privilege or Peril: How Social Inequality Enables or Derails the American Dream is published by Teachers College Press.
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    Fall 2022 Issue

    Abstracts

    A Face for My Autobiography
    Lucy Grealy and Embodied Vulnerability
    Andrea Avery

    Book Notes

    The Doctoral Journey as an Emotional, Embodied, Political Experience
    Edited by Rebecca (Bex) Twinley and Gayle Letherby

    Memory in the Mekong
    Edited by Will Brehm and Yuto Kitamura

    Willful Defiance
    Mark R. Warren

    Queer Data
    Kevin Guyan

    All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep
    Andre Henry