Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Affirmative action programs-United States-History, Affirmative action programs-United States-Public opinion, Liberals-United States-Atttitudes, African Americans-Employment, Discrimination in employment-Law and legislation-United States, Bakke Decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Canterbury Tale, Desegregation, Emanicipation, Employment equity, Equal opportunity, Jim Crow Laws, Segregation, Racial quota, New Deal, Title VII, Voting Rights Act of 1965


The purpose of this study was to examine majority attitudes toward affirmative action (AA) in the workplace, since the future of AA may depend on these views. Conservatives generally oppose AA but it may be that most liberals do also, according to studies modeled on the Kuklinski List Experiment (LE). The LE employs indirect means to help reveal covert attitudes toward sensitive subjects. Based on this previous research, this study's prime hypothesis was that most White liberals harbor antagonism towards AA, contrary to expectation. Participants were invited to take an Internet based survey which utilized LE methodology. The main result was that 74% of White liberal respondents objected to AA (N=129). If representative of White liberals in general, this finding has profound implications for the very survival of AA.




iii, 81 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 68-73)