Affirmative Action Policy Essays

Likewise, after 1965 federal contractors had been subject to President Lyndon Johnson’s Executive Order 11246, requiring them to take “affirmative action” to make sure they were not discriminating. The Executive Order assigned to the Secretary of Labor the job of specifying rules of implementation.In the meantime, as the federal courts were enforcing the Civil Rights Act against discriminating companies, unions, and other institutions, the Department of Labor mounted an ad hoc attack on the construction industry by cajoling, threatening, negotiating, and generally strong-arming reluctant construction firms into a series of region-wide “plans” in which they committed themselves to numerical hiring goals.The ebb and flow of public controversy over affirmative action can be pictured as two spikes on a line, the first spike representing a period of passionate debate that began around 1972 and tapered off after 1980, and the second indicating a resurgence of debate in the 1990s leading up to Supreme Court’s decisions in 20 upholding certain kinds of affirmative action.The first spike encompassed controversy about gender and racial preferences alike.At first, university administrators and faculty found the rules of Order No.4 murky but hardly a threat to the established order.

Within the “morally permissible” set, different writers put forward different justifications.Preferential policies, in her view, worked a kind of justice.Nagel, by contrast, argued that preferences might work a kind of social good, and without doing violence to justice.For several decades Anglo-American philosophy had treated moral and political questions obliquely.On the prevailing view, philosophers were suited only to do “conceptual analysis”—they could lay bare, for example, the conceptual architecture of the idea of justice, but they were not competent to suggest political principles, constitutional arrangements, or social policies that actually did justice.This is because the burning issue at the turn of the twentieth-first century is about college admissions.At selective colleges, women need no boost; African-Americans and Hispanics do.“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded.When those steps involve selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy.Through these contractor commitments, the Department could indirectly pressure recalcitrant labor unions, who supplied the employees at job sites.While the occasional court case and government initiative made the news and stirred some controversy, affirmative action was pretty far down the list of public excitements until the autumn of 1972, when the Secretary of Labor’s Revised Order No.

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  1. Since quantitative and qualitative studies involve two different types of research processes with dissimilar research philosophies and methodologies, the two are often evaluated against different criteria.