Throughout this century scholars and legal experts have devoted special attention to the issue of race and ethnicity as a determinant of life chances in the United States. Some of the more influential treatises in the social and behavioral sciences, many of which have become classics, addressed fundamental, derivative (and often more compelling) extensions of race and ethnicity. They focused on such topics as race-based group dominance, ethnic stratification, structural inequality based upon racial or ethnic identification, beliefs in inherent racial superiority and status privilege, class exploitation, the nature of prejudice, and the maintenance of power over groups defined as subordinate in an ethnically and racially stratified social system. All of these themes are clearly related to the current status of minorities in higher education.


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