Nancy MacLean

Northwestern University

Nancy MacLean, associate professor of history and fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, will be writing a history of affirmative action in employment. She will integrate a social history of workplace struggles over discrimination with an intellectual history of the various ways affirmative action has been conceived and debated. As well as changing American workplaces, disputes over affirmative action have refashioned American political culture and recast the way Americans think about race and gender. Why has affirmative action proven so singularly controversial? This study will be the first to document how Mexican Americans, followed by women, Puerto Ricans, and later Asian Americans mobilized and won coverage so that affirmative action now technically covers the majority of the U.S. workforce.


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