Affirmative Action


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Related to Affirmative Action: Affirmative Action Plan

Affirmative Action

A series of policies a government or organization pursues to help a given demographic group, especially a historical minority, in work and/or education. Affirmative action may be mild; for example, race may be one of a number of factors a university considers when deciding admission. On the other hand, it may impose stringent requirements; for example, a government may oblige companies to abide by gender quotas when hiring.

Affirmative action as a policy is quite controversial. Proponents argue it helps engender equality among groups in society. Critics contend it does (or at least can) reward less qualified persons at the expense of more qualified persons.

The term "affirmative action" is predominantly American. The concept is called positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, employment equity in Canada and reservation in India.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yuill relies heavily on archival sources to help fill out the record on Nixon's role in the expansion of affirmative action.
Peter Wood, the NAS president, says it's inevitable that race-conscious affirmative action in higher education will be eliminated.
Affirmative action proponents have already challenged the ban as unlawful and say they will do so in other states that may consider a similar ban in the future.
The book contains quotes from both proponents and opponents of 1960s federal civil rights legislation and 1970S affirmative action policies.
Crosby begins her book Affirmative Action Is Dead: Long Live Affirmative Action (Yale University Press, March 2004) with questions: "Why does affirmative action not enjoy stronger support in the United States?
If, for Sowell, this short book represents an adequate account of the results of affirmative action in five countries, it may be because this study is based on a theoretical and moral apparatus that he does not describe, examine, or even acknowledge.
Grutter might be perceived by some as the conclusion to a contentious debate and clear authority to adopt affirmative action policies in all sectors of public higher education.
In one study, white participants were presented with four affirmative action policies.
There was no point in letting conservatives beat us up over affirmative action," Frank said.
These workshops offer companies the fundamentals needed to ensure compliance and to manage a diverse group of employees," said Randy Jesberg, senior vice president and general manager, Affirmative Action Solutions.
The options are not affirmative action or some pristine world in which "merit" is its own reward, but affirmative action or naked discrimination and exclusion.
Affirmative action has won a major legal battle, but not the political war.