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How Much Effect does Affirmative Action Have in the Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Universities?

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Notably, the debating of multiculturalism is still a hot topic in the United States, and different people has different understanding towards multiculturalism, during 1960s, an policy is established and meant to enhance the equality of the working environment which make sure that every race has the same opportunities of getting the job, this is the affirmative action policy, lately it has drawn to the education field which many Universities has adopted it while the administration department is making decision that they have to give a certain percentage for different race when enrolling students, at 2014, the affirmative action is stopped by the Universities of California. This article aims to analyze the effect of the affirmative action and further identify whether such action should exist or continue to be eliminated. The study required detailed descriptions and narratives of the minorities in the Universities of California to get detailed answers, for this reason, an interview will be conducted to discuss the effect of affirmative action. The interview established that the affirmative action is not preferable as it causes other problems, however the interview also indicated that not everyone starts from the same line. It was concluded that the affirmative action did have a negative effect in education and shall continue to not exist.

Background Information

The United States of America is an developed leading country in the world in many field, one of the reason behind such success is that it embraces the diversity of cultures, the U.S. is described as a melting pot as its’ current society, the desirability of assimilation makes the bond stronger than before, speaking of different cultures, it is very understandable that there will be a unbalanced proportion of different cultures in the United States, therefore, two forms of group is created due to the social and economic construction, which is the majority group and minority group (Seyranian et al., 2008), as more immigrates move to the United States, multiculturalism has become increasingly a popular topic nowadays as it directly affect the life quality of different groups, one of the reason behind this social norms could be caused by an ideology occurred during 15th to 17th century, where after the age of exploration, the European starting to have such concept of “the west” and “the rest”, which is a discourse that would separate the European and the rest of the world where the west is a historical construct, it is “a society that is developed, industrialized, urbanized, capitalist, secular and modern” (Hall, 1996), to avoid such discrimination or discourse, affirmative action was the resulted, it is the civil rights movement of 1960s, which aims to provide equal opportunities for education and employment for members of minority groups and women, In the next few years, Universities and colleges began to adopt similar policies to ensure the enrollment rate of African-American and Hispanic students is increasing steadily. In 2014, eight states banned such action and California is one of the states, this means that the universities admission will not consider the race while evaluating the applicants.

Research Question

Although the affirmative action in California has been stopped, it is still possible that this could happen again, therefore, it is important to ensure that there is a way to decide for future action like this should be held or not. The research identified the reasons why such action should be practiced again or not. In general, it is essential to determine how much effect does affirmative action have in the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism in Universities.

Research Aim and Objectives

Based on the above research question, the current study seeks to identify whether the minority groups support the affirmative action or if any areas of such action could be improved in any way. Therefore, the aim of the study is to explore the significance of multiculturalism by researching the affirmative action on educational system specifically in University of California to determine whether such action should still exist or continue not to exist. In order to achieve the overall aim of this research, researcher set up 3 following key objectives to measure the success and progressively achieve the aim.

Rationale of Research

This research has some significant value within the academia and society, this information will be useful to school administration, government and the students. The results will somehow provide important guide the administration and government in their future decisions, allowing them to maximize the effectiveness of future decision by giving everyone an opportunity and fair at the same time. This research examines an important shift in multiculturalism and seeks to explain the minorities’ thoughts on affirmative action. Beyond this specific goal, this research will provide insight to academia and government concerning how affirmative action can affect cognitive processes. Many multi-culture countries have considered the United States is one of the most successful countries on enhancing multiculturalism. As a country widely known as the “land of opportunities”, its’ name is given because of the actions that this country has taken based on equality and make sure everyone has the same opportunities while they achieve their dreams. Therefore, multiculturalism is essential for the success of the United States. And it is very important for everyone in the land to understand multiculturalism to enhance the communities and develop a better environment. Within the ongoing debating topics, Multiculturalism is one of the hottest topics as it has pros and cons that would affect the United States economically and culturally.

Research Methodology

There are various forms of research design available: qualitative, quantitative, experimental, and quasi-experimental. The design chosen for the basis of this research was qualitative design. The reason for this is that the researcher requires actual opinions and detailed answers with respect to minorities’ experience in order to gather the data required to fulfill the aim and purpose of the study. Hale (2007) agrees, stating that qualitative research is used when the researcher attempts to reach an understanding of an area. The research used narrative analysis in order to analyze the results from the interviews. Hatch (2002) agrees that individuals use storytelling or narratives in order to make sense of things. In this case, the aim was to understand if affirmative action really fulfills the equality desire, to understand the effect of affirmative action in education system in California. This required detailed explanations and descriptions of the effects from the experience of the minorities, which would be the interviewees in this research.

Several benefits of qualitative research design have been identified. Using a qualitative research design allows a broader scope for the researcher to work from (Al-Busaidi,2008). Also, the research design is not reliant on the size of its representative sample as the researcher can gather meaningful results from a smaller sample as well (Denzin and Lincoln, 2017). For the research topic, a detailed representation of the affirmative action experiences was needed to determine if it is suitable for the school to adopt affirmative action for the chosen field of study, or if recommendations can be made as identified from the primary source, the minorities. Due to the limitation of time and people connection, two people from minorities were interviewed for the study. The sample was chosen as they are the affirmative action experiencer. The researcher selected them as they were the only students who responded and have the minorities’ background and one is at the fifth year from University of California, San Diego, another is at the sixth year from University of California, Berkeley, this will provide the researcher with a strong perspective on the former use of affirmative action.

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The research method chosen for this particular study was an interview guide. The researcher identified this as the chosen method in order to gather the correct data needed to arrive at the right conclusion. The interview will assist in discovering the minorities’ opinions regarding the affirmative action. The researcher arranged to meet with the interviewee personally and informed them of the research and that their personal information will be kept confidential. They were then informed that the interview would be recorded. In essence, the recorded information was then transcribed by the researcher and analyzed for results.

The process for transcribing the data was replaying the recording several times to ensure that word for word was transcribed. Notably, while transcribing several themes stood out, and the researcher made notes next to it in order to serve as a reminder when analyzing the compiled data. Once all the recordings were transcribed, the researcher highlighted in different colors the themes that were identified in the responses of each of the interviewees. The researcher will ensure that full confidentiality will be kept regarding the experiencer opinions of the interview respondents. The respondents have all been made aware of what the researcher is requesting, and they all have to give their consent to participate in the interview. No harm can be done to the participants; the questions will be conducted in a safe environment, and the responses recorded and transcribed verbatim. No information will be altered by the researcher to manipulate the results. The researcher will not release the names of the participants or the companies they work. The questions posed and the subsequent analysis of the results will be unbiased and accomplished ethically. The work in the research paper will be solely that of the researcher, and no one else who has not been acknowledged.

Result and discussion

The respondents were asked to describe the effect of the affirmative action on both of them, it was a unanimous opinion that it clearly does have a negative effect. Respondent A indicated that this “was a great idea and I was feeling good” at the first place, and respondent B says “I was worried but exited at the same time”, however, when describing the graduation rate, both answers was negative. According to both respondents A and B’s answer, they were the top student at their school, and when they got admitted by UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, they “became really difficult to catch up with the classes” and they indicates that “everybody else seems know the stuff of what they are learning and [respondents A and B] are having difficulty to understand the context”. After answering the question of how much effect does affirmative action do in their study career, at the end of the interview, the respondent was asked to give an answer in the position of the administration, asking how they would manage the enrollment of student, respondent A provide a direct answer saying that “I will admit the student based on their qualifications”. Respondent B indicates that it takes “a lot of time and efforts” to catch up in a higher education institution and respondent B will recommend the students to “go to schools that match your educational capability at the time”. The reason for this was that in a higher education institution, they were more in a challenge in mental than physical because they used to be the “top students” and once they were admitted under affirmative action, they became a “ straight Ds and Cs student” which lower their self-esteems to study and making friends. Therefore, it can be concluded that the affirmative action does provide an equal environment for the minorities, however, when it comes to the result, it doesn’t seem work well.

To further enhance the conclusion, researcher also collected the effect of affirmative action from scholarly researches on both education and work field. The article The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on College Enrollment, Educational Attainment, and the Demographic Composition of Universities written by Peter Hinrichs(2012) states that the affirmative action actually has an insignificant amount effect on typical student and the typical college. Also according to Stephen Coate and Gleen C. Loury(1993), from their journal article Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes? They conclude that affirmative action does ensure the chance for minority workers but also increase the rate of being fired for slow productivity.


Affirmative action was taken place and in tend to ensure the equality in both educational system and work field, however it has a good will but in a wrong process, in fact, it did make struggles for the minorities even more, even though counterargument has been identified that many people tie multiculturalism and affirmative action together to argue for equality and by saying oppositional voice that not everybody starts in the same line, however, multiculturalism is in fact closely related to affirmative action yet multiculturalism is not limited to just education and work field and in further discussion, knowledge can be obtained in any places and not limited within institutions. Therefore, the affirmative action in the Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Universities shall continue to not exist.

Based on the respondents’ answers, several recommendations can be made to the students and the government and education administrations. The administrations should consider a new way of admitting method while they want to make sure that everybody has the equal opportunities.

The government should consider training and increase the capability of productivities of each individual from minorities instead of forcing the company to hire people based on their race, this also goes to the education administrations. Lastly, the students should clearly understand that school is not the only way to build a successful life and shall spend more time to find out what they really like and put full power and full speed on it.

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How Much Effect does Affirmative Action Have in the Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Universities? (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
“How Much Effect does Affirmative Action Have in the Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Universities?” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
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How Much Effect does Affirmative Action Have in the Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Universities? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 08 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from:
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