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Affirmative Action - Referat



Affirmative Action

Definition:
Affirmative action (AE), or positive discrimination (BE), is a policy or a program aimed at increasing the representation of minorities. It typically focuses on education, employment, health care and social welfare.
Affirmative action began as corrective for past governmental and social injustices against prejudiced groups (race, gender, ethnicity).

Example: In Germany were programs stating that if men and women had equal qualifications, women had to be preferred for a job.

History:
The term “affirmative action” originates in law. The word “affirmative” describes the way of dealing with a difficult situation.

6.3.1961: first reference to affirmative action
John F. Kennedy established a Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity

2.7.1964: Civil Rights Act
Prohibition of discrimination of all kinds (race, colour, religion, national origin)

1969: The Philadelphia Order
The most forceful plan to guarantee fair hiring practices in construction jobs

28.6.1978: Supreme Court Case (“Bakke-Case”)
It said that affirmative action is unfair if it led to reverse discrimination

19.7.1995: White House guidelines on affirmative action
President Clinton called for the elimination of any program that...
- Creates preferences for unqualified individuals
- Creates reverse discrimination
- Continues even after its equal opportunity purposes have been achieved

3.11.1997: California
State bans affirmative action

3.10.1998: Washington
State abolishes affirmative action

22.2.2000: Florida
State ends affirmative action

23.6.2003: Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action in University Administrations
It decided that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students

Criticism:
In some countries affirmative action is rendered illegal by a requirement to treat all races equally. This treatment is described as being “race-blind” in hopes that it is effective against discrimination without engaging in reverse discrimination.
Affirmative action could send a wrong message to minorities that they are not capable enough to be considered on their own good features.
Critics of affirmative action argue that qualified members of the majority group should not be replaced by unskilled members of the minority group just because the larger society is unable to fix problems affecting its minority groups.

Views:
Libertarian: People consider affirmative action unnecessary because, due to the regime of highly competitive labour and goods markets, companies would not be able to afford to hire on any basis other than good features.

Centrist: People believe that affirmative action should only be used to bring lower class, not a specific racial group, out of poverty.





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