Affirmative Action

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8.4.1. FIRST SEMESTER ASSIGNMENTS

Assignment: 01

Due Date: 4 March 2013

Compulsory: YES

Function:

The purpose of this assignment is to teach you how to read an article and to critically
engage in academic reading and reflecting on the material in an academic manner by
answering the short paragraph questions provided as well as an essay.

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Assignment 01 will be marked fairly fully and sent back to you.

Affirmative action: a losing battle?

There are considerable reasons to suppose that this topic, which affects all citizens of South Africa, in particular, seems dated. In some instances it is a policy viewed with hostility as it is said to discriminate against sections of the population, yet in others it is seen as beneficial to women, black people and the disabled. Studies show that in many instances this form of historical redress has proven a hindrance to performance and makes the beneficiaries doubt their abilities when viewed by their superiors. This has a negative effect on an organization since the quality of work is seen as being sub-standard. Equally, there are significant indicators, both in industry and the private sector, that the opening up of previously closed avenues through the policy of affirmative action made companies perform better since the beneficiaries of such workplace selection viewed their work as a challenge. Where beneficiaries claim stigmatization by such a selection process, it means they prefer not to have been selected through such efforts. Either way, the battle seems to go on and on.

In the light of this ongoing and divisive debate, the level of debate regarding the policy has not progressed further since comparative studies of the policy have not been seriously undertaken. There has been no systematic study of the developments in how the policy actually proves beneficial as a tool of redress. Part of the reason is that,...
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