Presumed Competent: Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

February 21, 2019 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Columbia School of Social Work: 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Room C03, New York, NY 10027

Event Organizer

Columbia Population Research Center

Sponsored by the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC); registration required; Livestream available.

About the Seminar

Jennifer Lee

While the battle over affirmative action has raged for decades, only recently have Asian Americans featured prominently in that debate. In November 2014, the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a lawsuit against Harvard, alleging that it had violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by engaging in race-based discrimination against Asian Americans in the admissions process. SFFA is advocating for an end to affirmative action, and a decision is expected soon.

At this CPRC seminar, Columbia University sociologists Jennifer Lee (bio) and Van Tran (bio), seek to address two questions:

Van Tran

  1. Where do Asian Americans position themselves in the debate over affirmative action compared to White, Black, and Latino Americans?
  2. What are the social and psychological drivers of their support?

The two professors will discuss how self-interest, linked fate, and a sense of “moral deservingness” affect Asian Americans’ support for a policy that has often been framed as one that harms their self- and group interests.

Registration information

  • To attend this seminar on livestream, please click the above “register” link.
  • To attend this seminar in person, please register on this page.