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Affirmative Action and the Meanings of Merit (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 16 may 2009


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By challenging the classical liberal notion that the "one best" candidate for a job or university place can be readily and "objectively" identified, Bruce Lapenson's Affirmative Action and the Meanings of Merit provides new theoretical arguments and empirical evidence in favor of affirmative action. By examining how best to broaden out society's traditional conception of relevant selection criteria, Lapenson advances a conception of affirmative action that both selects duly qualified candidates and enhances social justice. -- Dr. Joseph M. Schwartz, associate professor, Department of Political Science, Temple University A brilliantly conceived, skillfully written, meticulously researched, and well-documented work, Affirmative Action and the Meanings of Merit constitutes a valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on affirmative action. An informative, engaging, and thought-provoking work, it breaks new ground in terms of its novel approach to the subject and, in the process, offers a compelling look at one of the most vital issues of the day. Virtually every chapter breaks new ground. Scholars in the field are certain to view the book as a monumental contribution to the subject. -- Jeffery M. Elliot, chair and professor, Department of Political Science, North Carolina Central University

Reseña del editor

The public defenses of affirmative action have not convinced the majority of Americans that the policy is necessary and just. The notion that merit and qualifications for academic places and jobs can be judged solely by test scores and grades is seriously called into question by the numerous studies analyzed in Affirmative Action and the Meanings of Merit. These studies show that many affirmative action beneficiaries have succeeded in higher education and various occupations despite not having the required test scores or GPA, therefore exposing reified concepts of merit as intellectually murky. Public defenders of affirmative action must point to these realities to convince more Americans that such policies are ethical and contribute to the goal of a diverse and fair-minded society.

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