Affirmative action

Topics: Affirmative action, Discrimination, Equal opportunity Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: November 22, 2013
The term “Affirmative Action” originated from the United States of America to prohibit unfair discrimination against certain groups of people because of non job related characteristics in terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 . Canada was not far behind in this movement, “Affirmative Action” was set in place through the “Canadian Employment Equity Act” for the same purpose. After reading through the articles as well as some supplemental material revolving around affirmative action I have concluded that affirmative action is in fact a form of discrimination, but is not an unfair form of discrimination, it simply eliminates unfair discrimination and develops skills of those individuals who have not had equal opportunities.

As Plous (2003) explains in his paper, “Ten myths about affirmative action,” myth number seven addresses the topic of curing discrimination with discrimination. Although it sounds like it skims along the lines of “two wrongs don’t make a right,” it does make sense. Plous (2003) explains, “The most effective way to cure society of exclusionary practices is to make special efforts at inclusion.” I believe this tackles the issue that there is a widespread agreement that equality of opportunity is a requirement for a just society. In essence, practices and selection criteria should be made to ensure organizations do not exclude qualified people from consideration for available positions or employment benefits, regardless of their race, religion, color, or gender. Affirmative action focuses on groups that have been discriminated against in the workplace; it focuses on these groups because they were discriminated before.

Another question to take into consideration is that, although affirmative action is put in place to create equal opportunity, does it actually even out the playing field, so to speak, among people in the workplace? From the definition of affirmative action, you would probably assume that affirmative action has improved the...


Cited: CNN Library. (2013, Nov 12). Affirmative Action Fast Facts. Retrieved Nov 12, 2013, from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/us/affirmative-action-fast-facts/
Harris, G. (2009). Revisiting Affirmative Action in Levelling the Playing Field: Who Have Been the True Beneficiaries Anyway? Rewvie of Public Personnel Administration , 354-369.
Plous, S. (1996). Ten Myths About Affirmative Action. Journal of Social Issues , 25-31.
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