Teaching about affirmative action: Challenges from a freshmen seminar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter addresses the challenges I faced in teaching a freshmen seminar on the history of affirmative action. One of the goals of the class is to highlight the role the media plays in creating myths about affirmative action, such as the notion that the policy is a form of “reverse discrimination." After providing the history of the policy and important legal decisions such as the Bakke case, the seminar focuses on print news media representations of the debate surrounding affirmative action. One of the challenges I faced is that most students assume that newspaper accounts are “objective." To address this challenge, I rely on sociological work on the media to illustrate how such accounts can be biased and then teach students strategies for reading the media critically through a variety of in-class assignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTeaching Race and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America
Subtitle of host publicationAdding Context to Colorblindness
EditorsKristin Haltinner
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789400771017
ISBN (Print)9789400771000
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


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