Complementary Rather than Contradictory: Diversity and Excellence in Peer Review and Admissions in American Higher Education

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Complementary Rather than Contradictory: Diversity and Excellence in Peer Review and Admissions in American Higher Education

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Title: Complementary Rather than Contradictory: Diversity and Excellence in Peer Review and Admissions in American Higher Education
Author: Lamont, Michele; da Silva, Graziella Moraes

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Citation: Lamont, Michele and Graziella Moraes Da Silva. 2009. Complementary rather than contradictory: Diversity and excellence in peer review and admissions in American higher education. Twenty-first Century Society 4(1): 1-15.
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Abstract: Diversity is largely accepted as a positive value in American society. Nevertheless, policies to encourage diversity, e.g. affirmative action, language policies and legalising illegal immigrants, are still largely disputed, and often understood as having contradictory and largely negative consequences. The implementation of diversity is still seen as a threat to meritocracy, national cohesion, and democracy. This paper analyses how excellence and diversity are discussed in two academic decision-making processes: admission at two elite public universities and the distribution of competitive research fellowships. We argue that excellence and diversity are not alternative but additive considerations in the allocation of resources. The administrators and academics we studied factor diversity in as an additional consideration when decisions are to be made between applicants of roughly equal standing.
Published Version: doi:10.1080/17450140802535925
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4319657

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6463]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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