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ARE ASIANS THE NEW BLACKS?: Affirmative Action, Anti-Blackness, and the ‘Sociometry’ of Race

  • Claire Jean Kim (a1)


This article sheds light on the pending affirmative action lawsuit filed by Asian American plaintiffs against Harvard University by providing a brief history of how Asian Americans have been figured (and have figured themselves) in U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence on race-conscious admissions in higher education. It shows that the figuration of Asian Americans has played a critical role in the legal-ideological project of despecifying Black subjection and disavowing racial positionality in the U.S. social order, from Bakke to the present, and argues that a new ‘sociometry’ of race is necessary to help us understand and challenge persistent structures of racial power.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Professor Claire Jean Kim, Departments of Political Science and Asian American Studies, University of California, Irvine, 3151 Social Science Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697. E-mail:


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