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Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.


Contesting an Illusion of Equity: A Textual Analysis of “Friend of the Court” Briefs in the University of Michigan’s Affirmative Action Cases

The landmark rulings in the University of Michigan’s Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger cases provide an important, albeit lukewarm, endorsement of race-conscious affirmative action admissions—however, not without first striking down mechanistic practices. In the months leading up to the Supreme Court’s rulings, affirmative action proponents and opponents submitted their arguments in the form of amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs. Utilizing a critical race framework, this paper discusses how critics employed strategic rhetorical tactics in their amicus briefs to refute race-conscious affirmative action policies and promote the status quo. More specifically, this paper focuses on how critics of affirmative action utilized a normative language of preference to recast “race-conscious” social policies as nothing more than “race-preferences.”

Service Learning in Library and Information Science (LIS) Education: Connecting Research and Practice to Community

This paper documents existing trends in service learning activities practiced in Library and Information Science (LIS) schools across the United States through the findings from two studies. The first study shares highlights from a question-based survey that elicited responses from faculty at a major LIS school in the United States about service learning activities incorporated in the courses they taught during the year 2002. The second study presents key aspects from content analysis of websites of the top 10 ranked LIS schools in the United States. This analysis identifies potential areas where service learning activities can be incorporated or strengthened in LIS education. Based on findings from the two studies, this paper calls for conscious efforts by LIS schools to train future students to engage in participatory action research (PAR) related activities in service learning and to establish a community informatics (CI) track in their master’s programs. Efforts to tie the three constructs in LIS education will help support social equity and empowerment of marginalized populations.

Using Segmented Assimilation Theory to Enhance Conceptualization of College Participation

This paper examines the commonly used integration theory of student retention in higher education through the lens of an emerging theory of immigration used in the sociology of education. By discussing how segmented assimilation theory may apply to the study of college student persistence, this essay explores alternative ways of viewing student persistence that recognize the possibility of multiple pathways of college participation and of community membership. Accordingly, it suggests how integration theory can incorporate insights from more recent research on minority students’ experiences and newer theoretical developments in the study of student development and persistence.