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 ?
Overall, Yuill is quite effective in tracking some of the changes in affirmative action through the Nixon presidency.
university's decision to eliminate affirmative action after the
race-based affirmative action in higher-education admissions with the
In addition to articulating conservatism, the arguments against affirmative action also betray vestiges of racial prejudice.
Finally, as anticipated by Bobo's (1988) group position theory, the ambivalent rhetoric with which whites express their opinions about affirmative action betrays defensiveness about group position.
Anderson's book is useful if you need a blow-by-blow account of congressional legislation, presidential directives, or Supreme Court decisions about affirmative action during the last 60 years.
The economist Thomas Sowell's name appears in Anderson's book only twice, and in each case the reference is a fleeting one containing nary a word about Sowell's prodigious studies of the real consequences of affirmative action policies in the U.
Another book that all Americans should read is one of the most depressing books I have ever read: When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson (W.
Wise covers some of the same territory, and also deals forcefully with the issue of affirmative action for whites in his book Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge, January 2005).
Because community colleges are committed to the open door, some may assume affirmative action is not needed in the student admissions process.
Bill Vandenberg, director of the Progressive Coalition and an organizer of a summit on affirmative action that was held last month, said conservative Republican elected officials like Owens engage in "deliberate blurring" when they speak of their positions on affirmative action, for fear of losing minority and women votes.
The basic premise of affirmative action is that, given the long-standing and deeply-rooted cultural stigma attached to factors such as dark skin color, racial minorities and others will continue to suffer social exclusion without concerted, conscious, and deliberate efforts to incorporate them into public life.

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