Affirmative Action

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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 ?
In practice, of course, many young white male graduates do find academic employment despite preferential hiring programs, but this actually indicates the relative ineffectiveness of the programs.
Given the problems that go into deciding the validity of the "more-qualified-than-thou" concept, it becomes increasingly less clear as to how anyone can call the practice of preferential hiring "reverse discrimination.
We have thus reached the result that, among blacks, only marginals gain from the establishment of a preferential hiring program--they do so because the outside observer lumps them together with black successes.
Preferential hiring, inasmuch as it falls on particular individuals, namely, young males, is unjust.
Northeastern University, for example, is giving preferential hiring to openly gay faculty, who can "serve as role models" for homosexual students
She says that store employees will get preferential hiring, but corporate-level Medicare-Glaser employees will not be interviewed.
But the IG also substantiated several charges made by Bartman about improper personnel practices at the European edition, including preferential hiring and improper overtime payments.
The agreement calls for contractors (see attached) who are covered under contract with Local 32BJ to give preferential hiring to the victims of the attack when job openings become available.
The accord also enhances job security by including a no-layoff clause for the duration of the agreement, banning the transfer of work to foreign-based maintenance facilities, granting preferential hiring at commuter carriers that are part of the USAir system, and providing job protection in event of an asset sale or merger.

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