Harvard and affirmative action - a collaborative project assembled by the students of Sociology of Asian America/ns

December 3, 2019
Guide to Affirmative Action Debate at Harvard

In this fall’s Sociology of Asian America/ns class, Dr. Vivian Shaw encouraged students to reflect on their own positionalities as students at Harvard University by collaborating on a project about race, affirmative action, and Harvard. Working in small groups, the students collectively assembled a syllabus about these topics, responding to the continuing debates over the specific SFFA vs. Harvard court case as well as the role of affirmative action in colleges more generally. The question of affirmative action is pressing for the broader Asian American community because SFFA developed its case based on the claim that Harvard’s affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian Americans. By critically interrogating the promises and limits of affirmative action, this syllabus puts Asian America in conversation with broader anti-discrimination politics—a sociohistorical context that black Americans, Latinx, and other people of color communities in the United States. The syllabus’s public availability, accessibility, and inviting visual design are also central for achieving students’ goals of making this work relevant and useful for students and educators across the country.


The Harvard Syllabus - A Guide to the Affirmative Action Debate at Harvard17.29 MB