Interest Convergence or Divergence?: A Critical Race Analysis of Asian Americans, Meritocracy, and Critical Mass in the Affirmative Action Debate


We use the Critical Race Theory frameworks of interest convergence and divergence to critique the anti-affirmative action movement’s co-option of Asian Americans. Past discussions of affirmative action and Asian Americans mainly concentrate on how Asian Americans are affected by affirmative action, whether positively or negatively. We demonstrate how Asian American collegiate experiences ought to affect public understanding of affirmative action itself by demonstrating the need for broader conceptualizations of meritocracy and critical mass.