April 2, 1982

Mainstreaming Outsiders: The Production of Black Professionals

Author Affiliations

Jackson Park Hospital Chicago


by James E. Blackwell, 345 pp, $30.95, Bayside, NY 11360 (23-45 Corporal Kennedy St), General Hall, 1981.

JAMA. 1982;247(13):1876. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320380068039

"Mainstreaming" is defined as the "process by which an unfavored racial or ethnic group is provided opportunities to fulfill occupational roles in the same manner as members of the more favored or dominant group in a desegregating American society." The primary mechanism of mainstreaming is providing equal educational opportunities. This book is an examination of the efforts made during the 1970s to equalize educational opportunities for all factions of the American population.

The book gives a great amount of statistical data (gathered from 743 professional schools in eight professional fields: medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, engineering, and social work) to support the fact that schools vary with regard to efforts and characteristics relevant to creating equal access and that certain generalizable variables are powerful predictors of the presence of black students. Important differences among schools included (1) when they began to aid in equal access; (2) how successful they