Supporters of affirmative action argues that, affirmative action policies are necessary to eliminate the existing structure of stereotypes and inequalities, and to promote equal opportunities for both historically privileged and unprivileged groups.
This paper will try to find out is affirmative action justified and if so then to what extend. To do so, first, the term affirmative action will be explained and discussed and second, pros and cons of affirmative action will be identified and discussed. Then there will be a conclusion part.
What is Affirmative Action?
In dictionary, affirmative action is described as, Policies and practices that favour groups who have historically experienced disadvantages” (Scott, 2014, p. 579). The alternative terms ‘positive discrimination’ and ‘reverse discrimination’ are also widely used. Simply, it aims to promote equal opportunities in jobs, education and other institutions for minorities and women.
Since there is no single general law for affirmative action, it is not clear that what affirmative action policies can and cannot promote, and how these policies can be held and reinforced. There might be differences in implementing such affirmative action policies, from region to region. Some countries may use quota system, some may give privileges to a certain minority group in selection processes of a position in companies or in application processes in schools. Active recruitment of qualified applicants from excluded groups, special training programs that help minorities to meet the standards for job admissions or school applications, or simply selecting women or minority member over other candidates even if others are better for the position, can be part of affirmative action efforts CITATION Tho81 l 1055 (Nigel, 1981).
As a term, affirmative action was first used in the United States. On 6 March 1961, Executive Order 10925 was signed by President John F. Kennedy, CITATION Vid99 l 1055 (Soni, 1999) ensuring that federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, colour, or national origin” CITATION Sha04 l 1055 (Shaw & Barry, 2004). It was simply instituted to correct the unjust outcomes of inequalities that took place in the past by giving some preferential treatment to the ones who are subjected those past inequalities.
BIBLIOGRAPHYNigel, T. (1981, June 18). A Defense of Affirmative Action. (C. f. Policy, Röportaj Yapan)
Scott, J. (Dü.). (2014). Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Shaw, W. H., & Barry, V. (2004). Moral Issues in Business (9th b.). Belmont: Wadworth.
Soni, V. (1999). Mortality vs Mandate: Affirmative Action in Employment. Public Personnel Management, 28(4), 557-598.