affirmative action

affirmative action - In the era around the 1960s in the...

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In the era around the 1960s in the United States and spurred by a period characterized as the American Civil Rights Movement, the government began to examine ways to correctively remedy what they perceived to be a growing problem in American schools and business places. The representation of women and ethnic minorities had been historically low, and a government-legislated Affirmative Action was planned in order to increase the inclusion of these groups. Over the years since the 60s, many heated discussions taking place on the legislative floor, in the chambers of the Supreme Court, and among civilians have erupted, many debating the merits of Affirmative Action. While some see this step as an important part of paying reparation to underrepresented minorities, others are concerned that the line between eliminating negative selection of minorities workers and instigating policies of preferential selection is very thin and that certain policies actually cross this line regularly. This concern becomes evident in the two greatest periods of negative discourse occurring following the implementation of Affirmative Action. The first such period surrounded concerns over policies made to force preferential treatment of women and minorities in workplace environments, citing concerns that employment opportunities should be based on merit, not on immutable characteristics such as race, ethnicity, or sex. The second period focuses more clearly on college admissions, an area in which certain ethnic minorities are substantially underrepresented but in which women who make up on average 55% of the university classes need no such policy of advancement. It is particularly important to analyze these two areas as they represent some of the biggest reasons for advocacy of Affirmative Action, and yet are also characterized by the biggest concerns surrounding the program. And though the summer of 2003 landmark Supreme Court decision, which upheld many
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of the tenants, cited in Affirmative Action would theoretically have put aside the legal debate regarding the merits of such a program, the debate has since become even more heated. Affirmative Action could be seen as a growth of Title VII protections that make illegal discrimination in the workplace on the basis of immutable characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. Since then, Title VII has been expanded to also include a barring of discrimination on the basis of ability as found in the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and age as found in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Though at the state-level, there have been additional broadening of these protections, most notability to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Despite these changes to Title VII, however, Affirmative Action still retained focus only on racial minorities and women. The first major period of discontent with this policy began around 1972 where workers brought grievances that certain employees were being hired and advanced simply on the basis of their race or gender
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course SOC 3 taught by Professor Galli during the Spring '06 term at UCSD.

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affirmative action - In the era around the 1960s in the...

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