Affirmative action

the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority-group members, especially in employment.
Contemporary Examples

From same-sex marriage and voting rights to affirmative action, a look at the controversial cases to come.
Adam Winkler: The High Court’s Coming Land Mines Adam Winkler September 29, 2012

Evans believes that “it puts us a hundred years behind of affirmative action is abolished.”
Memories of the Powell Administration Marjorie Williams November 12, 2008

In other words, affirmative action is now another upper-middle class benefit.
How Affirmative Action Became an Upper-Middle Class Benefit Lloyd Green April 6, 2013

Fewer issues inflame political passions in my home state of California than affirmative action.
Racial Support to Keep a Ban on Race in Place Ron Christie March 23, 2014

Racially saturated issues like the death penalty, welfare, and affirmative action have faded from political debate.
The White House Ignores the South Peter Beinart December 13, 2009

So I’ve become fairly friendly toward federal anti-discrimination law, affirmative action, Title 9, the works.
Reality Check: Libertarianism Can’t Cure Racism Justin Green August 21, 2012

He was an extraordinarily ambitious black man who believed that affirmative action was bad for African-Americans.
Why Clarence’s Wife Called Anita Jacob Bernstein October 20, 2010

So instead of calling her win exploitation or affirmative action, why not rejoice in it?
Bikini Diplomacy Tunku Varadarajan May 17, 2010

Historical Examples

The truth is, that in our atmosphere all affirmative action is difficult; it is hard either to be or to do.
Library of the World’s Best Literature, Ancient and Modern Volume 11 Various

He impelled her to this affirmative action by suggesting, “Would you like to have a little extra suet wrapped up with it?”
Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins

(US) a policy or programme designed to counter discrimination against minority groups and women in areas such as employment and education Brit equivalent positive discrimination

A term referring to various government policies that aim to increase the proportion of African-Americans, women, and other minorities in jobs and educational institutions historically dominated by white men. The policies usually require employers and institutions to set goals for hiring or admitting minorities.

Note: Affirmative action has been extremely controversial. Supporters maintain that it is the only way to overcome the effects of past discrimination and promote integration. Critics dismiss it as “reverse discrimination,” denying opportunities to qualified whites and men. (See Bakke decision).


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