Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a collection of practices and policies within a government or social institution that strive to incorporate underrepresented groups based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, or nationality in education and employment.
Affirmative Action Sociology Definition

Definition

Affirmative action is a collection of practices and policies within a government or social institutions that strive to incorporate underrepresented groups based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, or nationality in education and employment.

Explanation

Affirmative action commonly referred to as “positive discrimination,” is a government policy created to assist minorities and underrepresented groups in securing work, receiving admission to colleges, and acquiring housing. The strategy was first developed to support underrepresented groups and promote diversity in neighborhoods, workplaces, and educational institutions.

It is a collection of initiatives to improve minority groups’ opportunities through special consideration. As part of this action, government contracts can be awarded to minority or woman-owned businesses, and target quotas can be set for businesses or colleges to encourage minority enrollment.

Politicians worldwide have emphasized the necessity of offering special treatment to underrepresented groups, such as the disabled, the aged people, ethnic minorities, and women who have endured prejudice in the past. According to the 1961 presidential executive order that established the policy, applicants and workers must be treated equitably regardless of race, color, or national origin.

Affirmative action programs have been in place in the US since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and as a result, there has been much debate and legal action around these policies. President Lyndon Johnson defended the idea of positive discrimination during his tenure.

Preferential affirmative action has developed, been defended against, and contested in two ways. One has been legal and administrative, as affirmative action requirements have been established and implemented by courts, legislatures, and executive agencies of government. The other has been the road of public discussion, where the use of preferential treatment has given rise to a sizable body of work on both sides of the issue.

Benefits vs. Drawbacks

The benefits of affirmative action include

  • moving up the socioeconomic scale,
  • improving underprivileged students’ educational prospects, and
  • advancing women and oppressed groups.

Reverse discrimination and a lack of meritocracy are among the drawbacks.

Example

Special educational grants provided to African Americans in the United States

 

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as of October 3, 2022 10:18 AM
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