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Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study (Yale Nota Bene S) Paperback – March 11, 2005
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In Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study (Yale University Press, 2004), Thomas Sowell takes a global view in examining group preference polices in the U.S., India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria. Whether called affirmative action in America, "positive discrimination" in India, preferences "reflecting the federal character of the country" in Nigeria, or "sons of the soil" preferences in Malaysia, Dr. Sowell looks at the similarities in the rationale behind the policies of these aforementioned countries, as well as their actual consequences.
One of the most damaging results of affirmative action in American higher education is the abysmal graduation rate of minority students admitted to elite colleges and universities under lower admissions standards. What makes this phenomenon even more disheartening is that many of these students would be perfectly suited to succeed at academically less rigorous schools, yet are "pervasively mismatched" into schools for which they are not adequately prepared, thus almost guaranteeing their chances of failure.
Dr.Read more ›
There is a saying: "In theory there is no difference between theory and reality. In reality there is." Thomas Sowell shows the reader how the reality of affirmative action is greatly different from the theory.
The bulk of the book focuses on five countries; there is a chapter on each of the following: India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and the United States. In each of these chapters there is a brief overview, the historical setting, a detailed analysis of the types of quotas & preferences various groups got, an examination of what happened, and then some conclusions.
Again and again I would think of the Law of Unintended Consequences, for as Thomas Sowell points out that (especially in dealing with humans) you can not always predict the outcome of a particular action. One of Thomas Sowell's points is those who have been pushing for affirmative action have a very, very poor track record in being able to predict how the affirmative action programs will help. They will make great claims, but the reality has been very different.
Thomas Sowell finds there are some basic patterns in all of the affirmative action programs. Almost always the programs are promoted as being temporary, but they become permanent. The programs are supposed to be for a specific group, but other groups push for their cause to try and join the bandwagon (gravy wagon).Read more ›
As Sowell states many times throughout the book, his main objective here is to examine the actual effects of affirmative action programs, not the goals or rationales behind them. To put it another way, he sets out to answer the questions that most people don't even ask. The chief problem, in Sowell's view, is that the assumption underlying affirmative action programs is fundamentally flawed. It's just assumed by those advocating such measures that any intergroup disparities in performance must be caused by some sort of systematic discrimination, and a little government intervention is needed to even things out. However, as Sowell notes, such differences have been found all over the world all through history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is basically the culmination of a 30 year long study of Dr. Sowell's that covers affirmative action not only in the US, but also in various countries around the world,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MasterKefka
The best study of the subject of preferences being written into law that I have seen. The utter absurdity of telling people that they are not employing enough persons of the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paul Marks
Great and insightful! Recommended!
This product has my [BAD-ASS] seal of approval!
Thomas Sowell is an economist who has that rare gift of being able to simplify complex issues. His insights give us understanding and clarity of thought. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John S. Buczek
Fantastic book, explain perfectly why affirmative actions never works. I'm brazilian and the things Mr. Sowell writes, fits completely in our moment here. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Victor Nunes
No one wants to talk about this subject. Emotion in this case surpasses reason and political use of the theme is explosivePublished 19 months ago by Rodolfo Bott
But these people have entirely missed the point, just like the author does by gift-wrapping a rebuttal to an argument no one is making. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by Peter Ian Staker
Thomas Sowell was someone I had only heard of and after reading this book, I will buy more of his material. Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by BamaPrincess80
Thomas Sowell's book gives an excellent overview on practices and consequences of affirmative action around the world. Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Leon Stein