Cracking the Egg: Which Came First - Stigma or Affirmative Action?

55 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008 Last revised: 20 May 2009

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

University of Iowa College of Law

Emily Houh

University of Cincinnati - College of Law

Mary Campbell

University of Iowa - Department of Sociology

Abstract

This Article examines the strength of arguments concerning the causal connection between racial stigma and affirmative action. In so doing, this article reports and analyzes the results of a survey on internal stigma (feelings of dependency, inadequacy, or guilt) and external stigma (the burden of others' resentment or doubt about one's qualifications) for the Class of 2009 at seven public law schools, four of which employed race-based affirmative action policies when the Class of 2009 was admitted and three of which did not use such policies at that time.

Specifically, this Article examines and presents survey findings of 1) minimal, if any, internal stigma felt by minority law students, regardless of whether their schools practiced race-based affirmative action; 2) no statistically significant difference in internal stigma between minority students at affirmative action law school and non-affirmative action law schools; and 3) no significant impact from external stigma.

Keywords: race, affirmative action, education, law school

JEL Classification: I20, J7

Suggested Citation

Onwuachi-Willig, Angela and Houh, Emily and Campbell, Mary, Cracking the Egg: Which Came First - Stigma or Affirmative Action?. California Law Review, Vol. 96, p. 1299, 2008; U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 08-24; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1295357

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

University of Iowa College of Law ( email )

290 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Emily Houh (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States

Mary Campbell

University of Iowa - Department of Sociology ( email )

W140, Seashore Hall
Iowa Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
201
Rank
124,243
Abstract Views
2,231