Summer reading: Campus Diversity

Book cover for Campus DiversityCampus Diversity: The Hidden Consensus
John M. Carey, Katie Clayton, & Yusaku Horiuchi

This book is authored by two political science luminaries, John Carey and Yusaku Horiuchi of Dartmouth, as well as one of their students who was an undergraduate herself at the time of the writing, Katie Clayton.

I can’t imagine a work of nonfiction that better addresses the theme of this year’s Summer Reading List. Campus Diversity focuses on one of the central social, political, and legal issues confronting universities: whether and how race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status should be considered in college admissions and in faculty recruitment. It takes seriously what students think about an issue on which they have direct, recent experience. It acknowledges head-on the challenges students may face in openly expressing opinions about diversity, and it shows how scholars can measure attitudes even on hot-button issues. It further shows how the academic research process can unfold, identifying a puzzle, applying an innovative method to get traction on it, and presenting results graphically, in an accessible manner that requires no prior familiarity with statistical methods. It provides historical background on demographic diversity at American universities and current context on legal and political challenges to affirmative action.

Nothing could be more timely, and the book is a model of engaging, accessible social science. Perhaps most importantly, given this year’s theme, the book unearths hidden connections among students and opens the way for more open and fruitful dialogue. I think incoming students would enjoy it and profit enormously from reading it.

Political Science Department

This book is part of the 2020 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!