Education Doesn’t Increase Support for Affirmative Action Among Whites, Minorities

American Sociological Association, February 22, 2012

Highly educated whites and minorities are no more likely to support workplace affirmative action programs than are their less educated peers, according to a new study in the March issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, which casts some doubt on the view that an advanced education is profoundly transformative when it comes to racial attitudes.

“I think this study is important because there’s a common view that education is uniformly liberalizing, and this study shows—in a number of cases—that it’s not,” said study author Geoffrey T. Wodtke, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan.

Titled, “The Impact of Education on Intergroup Attitudes: A Multiracial Analysis,” the study analyzes the effects of education on racial attitudes among whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians using data from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality 1992-1994, which interviewed adults in Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, and Los Angeles, and the 1990-2010 waves of the nationally representative General Social Survey.

Wodtke’s study finds that while being better educated does not increase the likelihood that whites and minorities approve of affirmative action in the workplace, it does increase the probability that they support race-targeted job training. “The distinction between those two policies is that one is opportunity enhancing and the other is outcome equalizing,” Wodtke said. “I think that some of the values that are promoted through education, such as individualism and meritocracy, are just much more consistent with opportunity enhancing policies like job training than they are with redistributive or outcome equalizing policies like affirmative action.”

Still, Wodtke, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, said he was surprised to find that better educated blacks and Hispanics are no more supportive of workplace affirmative action programs than are their less educated peers. “This surprised me because it’s thought that highly educated minorities are most likely to benefit from affirmative action programs,” he said.

According to Wodtke, there could be a couple of reasons why more educated blacks and Hispanics are no more likely to support affirmative action in the workplace than are their less educated peers. “One possibility is that affirmative action programs may have the unintended effect of stigmatizing people who have benefited from them,” Wodtke said. “As a result of this stigmatization, people who have seemingly benefitted from affirmative action may just lose faith in the efficacy of these programs to overcome racial discrimination in the labor market.”

Another possibility is that people with more advanced educations, regardless of race, become socialized in such a way that their own support for more radical social policies is somewhat diluted, Wodtke said. “The data suggest that one ideological function of the formal educational system is to marginalize ideas and values that are particularly challenging to existing power structures, perhaps even among those that occupy disadvantaged social positions,” Wodtke said.

The study also finds that while whites, Hispanics, and blacks with higher levels of education are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes than are their less educated peers, this pattern does not hold true for Asians. In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics.

“It may have something to do with Asian’s social position relative to other racial groups in the United States,” Wodtke said. “Some posit that Asians and to a lesser extent Hispanics occupy a ‘racial middle ground’ between whites and blacks. So, it’s possible that the non-effect of education on negative stereotyping among Asians is related to their self perceived risk of downward assimilation and their efforts to avoid this outcome.”

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  • Detroit_WASP

    Surprising results.  Having been through the college system I would have expected educated people to be a bit more “liberal minded” and would give the PC answer on a survey.

  • Natassia

    “It may have something to do with Asian’s social position relative to other racial groups in the United States,” Wodtke said. “Some posit that Asians and to a lesser extent Hispanics occupy a ‘racial middle ground’ between whites and blacks. So, it’s possible that the non-effect of education on negative stereotyping among Asians is related to their self perceived risk of downward assimilation and their efforts to avoid this outcome.”

    OR MAYBE, just maybe, Asians don’t care if people call them racist.

  • Sonya610

    The study also finds that while whites, Hispanics, and blacks with higher levels of education are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes than are their less educated peers, this pattern does not hold true for Asians.

    I guess what the study really suggests is that higher education needs to modify their brainwashing techniques to effectively target Asians. Asians are very susceptible to the “hive” mindset, not the individual/diversity oriented mindset. With a bit of tweaking the Asians can be convinced as well.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Yes, it’s time for “educators” like Tim Un-Wise to begin brainwashing Asians with help from the $PLC’s Teaching Tolerance program. 

      After they’re done they can say  to Asians “We’ve now proved that blacks and hispanics are just as intelligent and law-abiding as everyone else. Now are you going to believe us or your lying eyes?’

      • RobRoySimmons

        We at BUGs go round and round with Wise and his cult, they are strictly anti-white and nothing else, they are dedicated to white genocide.  Maybe its his religous/ethnic background or he is just plain crazy, but he is most certainly not anti-asian.

        • Oil Can Harry

          Pardon my ignorance, but what is “BUGs”?

      • FredTT

        We don`t need to deal with hypotheticals,when his anti-white cult is openly pushing white genocide.

  • crystal evans

    Asians believe in hard work to succeed in school and in their careers. Affirmative Action goes against that belief because if Blacks and Hispanics would work harder and complain less, there would be no need for affirmative action because they would be able to succeed on their own merits.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Crystal, there ARE in fact IQ differences between the races.

      So even if blacks and hispanics worked as hard as whites do there would be still be earning and achievement gaps, though they would  be lessened.

  • This_Name_Doesnt_Exist

    Perhaps the answer to the riddle of why higher education doesn’t boost acceptance for AA is that universities are full of AA students, and you know what they say about familiarity…..

  • William_JD

    There’s a misconsception that affirmative action hurts poor Whites more than affuent Whites, but think about it:  White janitors and lettuce pickers work in fields where non-Whites are “overrepresented” to begin with.  And it’s at the highest levels of achievement where the difference between a deserving White and an undeserving Black is the greatest and most obvious. 

    • The_Bobster

      http://www.vdare.com/articles/anti-white-bias-and-bigotry-in-academia

      White kids from poor families who score as well as white kids from wealthy families—think George W. Bush—not only get no break, they seem to be the most undesirable and unwanted of all students.

      Though elite schools give points to applicants for extracurricular activities, especially for leadership roles and honors, writes Nieli, if you played a lead role in Future Farmers of America, the 4-H Clubs or junior ROTC, leave it off your resume or you may just be blackballed. “Excelling in these activities is ‘associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds on admissions.'”

      Writes Nieli, there seems an unwritten admissions rule at America’s elite schools: “Poor Whites Need Not Apply.”

      For admissions officers at our top private and public schools, diversity is “a code word” for particular prejudices.

      For these schools are not interested in a diversity that would include “born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, lower- and middle-class Catholics, working class ‘white ethnics,’ social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children or older students just starting into college and raising children.”

      “Students in these categories,” writes Nieli, “are often very rare at the most competitive colleges, especially the Ivy League.”

      “Lower-class whites prove to be all-around losers” at the elite schools. They are rarely accepted. Lower-class Hispanics and blacks are eight to 10 times more likely to get in with the same scores.

  • “In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics.”

    Most Asians in the US are fob or 1st gen Asian American. Most of them arrived w/o much money and thus had to live in close proximity to blacks and Hispanics/Latinos. Asians KNOW what those racial groups are like, esp when they’re in their “natural environment” (i.e., in the ghetto vs as a college student or coworker). No amount of liberal PC BS theorizing will brainwash them into believing what they KNOW from 1st hand experience is factually true. Asians are no fools.

    Because they arrived poor, they watched their Moms and Dads bust their tails making their little stores and shops succeed. By comparison, they saw lazy, drugged up, and/or drunk black and Latino parent(s) in their neighborhoods living off of “entitlements.” Their parents (“Tiger Moms”) made them bust their tails in school and college. They saw black and Latino kids waste their educational opportunities and instead go for “fun” (alcohol/drug parties, premarital sex, sports, etc.).

    Because of all of this, they also do not suffer fools gladly — fools being liberal professors spouting off Affirmative Action propaganda and fools being whiny blacks and Latinos claiming to deserve what they have not earned.

    This is just another example of how we could easily weaken the black, Latino, anti-white liberal white alliance that attacks us by denying them conservative American Asians. The idea that Asians have common political interests with blacks and Latinos merely because they are also not whites (fellow “People of Color”), is ludicrous.

    • crystal evans

      Not all Asians are new immigrants. I for one, am a third generation Japanese American, my grandfather left Okinawa in the early 1900’s to come to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields. After his three year contract ended, he stayed and opened a general store, a pig farm and later a restaurant. There are thousands of Chinese and Filipinos who have been in this country as long as my family has or longer.

      • Yep, CE, you’re correct which is why I said “most” were new immigrants or 1st gen Asian Americans.

        Being a SF Bay Area native, I’m well aware of the history of Asian — and particularly Chinese immigrants — in the Old West, in the railroad industry and during the Gold Rush era. Those Asian American immigrants predate your own family’s roots in this country and Hawai’i before it was a state.

        From your silence re. the rest of my post, am I to take it that you agree w/most of it?

        You say you have a Japanese ancestry, yet your last name is not Japanese, is it? Are you Eurasian or are you married to a non-Japanese? Either way, why do you visit and post on AmRen? Are you against whites marrying Asians? whites or Asians marrying blacks or Latinos? Do you think of whites and Asians as “natural allies” in the political realm against Latinos and blacks’ special interest groups and agenda? I’ll assume you don’t think Asians should be deported from the US. Do you think there should be limits on Asian immigration, or would you be happy if parts of the US become indistinguishable from an Asian country? Do you believe in multiculturalism or in assimilation?

        I’ll open this up to other visitors/posters on AmRen who also claim to be Asian Americans.

        Unfortunately, since AmRen does not have an online forum where I could ask these Qs via Private Messages (PMs), or by posting a new thread, I have to post them in the comments of a news article….

    • Tony Duhon

      Yes, this is also why white Americans who come from financially poor backgrounds like myself don’t have much respect for blacks or Latinos (especially Mexicans). I’m a lower- to middle-middle class father and husband who grew up poor but went to college, busted my bottom there instead of partying, and graduated with highest honors. My personal experiences with black and Latino poor and middle-class Americans will always be burned into my brain. (I’m still early in my career, and with continued hard work and God’s blessings, I should be able to retire at the middle- to higher-middle class level in 25 – 30 years.)

  • JohnEngelman

    Highly educated people are most likely to notice the harmful effects of affirmative action because they are most likely to come in contact with fellow students and colleagues who do not owe their positions to merit, and who are unable to perform adequately. 

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      Also, highly educated people are the ones most likely to be passed over for promotions, being forced to watch as blacks and hispanics with far less aptitude and ability are given lucrative positions that rightly should have gone to them.

      A person in such a position told me recently he wondered why he worked so hard in school and at his career for years only to be repeatedly passed over in the name of “past discrimination” and AA.

      Bon

  • JohnEngelman

    Those who advocate affirmative action necessarily lie about it. They say that it does not lower intellectual standards for blacks and Hispanics, but is does. They say that it does not lower physical standards for women, but it does. They say that it does not discriminate against white and Oriental men, but it does. 
     
    Highly educate people are most able to detect the lies. 

  • Yale2001

     “In fact, education has no effect on negative stereotyping among Asians, and many Asians at all levels of education hold negative views about blacks and Hispanics.”
       This study reveals asians make their own decisions. Apparently, the liberal media, false propaganda, peer pressure does not condition them into false beliefs as easily as many white americans. Good for them.

    • They don’t have the white guilt trip and are more interested in self preservation. 

    • JohnEngelman

      It is difficult to convince an Asian immigrant that he or she is responsible for the fact that black fellow students who were born a generation after racial discrimination was outlawed in the United States tend to perform poorly. It should be difficult to convince a white student of that.  

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Wodtke said. “I think that some of the values that are promoted through education, such as individualism and meritocracy, are just much more consistent with opportunity enhancing policies like job training than they are with redistributive or outcome equalizing policies like affirmative action.
    Wodtke obviously hasn’t visited a typical K-12 public school classroom or opened a mandated high school textbook

    If he did, he would find that individualism and individual merit are NOT being taught or promoted in America’s public schools.  

    Modern education is about instilling a NWO in the minds of Amerikan children, one of government worship and obedience, of collectivism for the “common good,” of not questioning government policies, especially those that favor non-Whites such as AA (and hell, every other government program).  

    Whites are portrayed as genocidal invaders in America, deserving of any/all punishment including race replacement.  AA and all other government-enforced policies that hold down Whites and promote non-Whites, including flooding of White lands with Third World dregs is promoted and lauded.  Race-replacement and blatant vilification of Whites is particularly praised in the schools.

    Bon

    • Tony Duhon

      I agree with you, but I think that Wodtke was referring to *college*, not secondary school or below. Public colleges do teach critical thinking and open-mindedness to their students. (Not all the students pay attention or give a care however.)

      I agree that critical thinking should be taught and encouraged beginning in at least the secondary level in public schools if not further back, so that every American can be exposed to it, and not wait to be taught until college.

  • RobRoySimmons

    The basic liberal propaganda that is aimed at the higher educated lot is one of meritocracy and individualism not racial collectiveness.  That is why I say the left is comprised of cults rigidly segregated and they cannot be mixed because of conflicting messages.

  • slobotnavich

    The comments regarding Asians are interesting.  My own experience with East Asians would tend to support the observation that Asians are much more likely to believe their own eyes and ears than some convoluted peudo-analysis of black pathological behavior.  Of course, we’ve devoted over forty years and trillions of tax dollars to manufacturing weird and improbable theories explaining three hundred years of black failure throughout the world. 

  • When did he ever assert they are superior? He is simply reporting the results of the studies and statistics. Do you want the truth reported or not?

  • WhiteGuyInJapan

     Presenting information about Asians/Asian-Americans does not necessarily indicate Sinophilia.  Rather, the Asian-American experience serves as a solid refutation of the liberal/minority argument that White racism is the direct cause of minority underachievement.  That argument began with Blacks and now generally includes Hispanics.  (White) Americans can then argue that Asians, who are clearly not of European ancestry,  seem to do rather well in a “racist” society that “oppresses” minorities.   It serves to drain much of the lib/min argument of its power.