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Affirmative Action

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Affirmative action is policies that institutions engage actively in for them to improve on the opportunities for groups that have been historically excluded in the society. In the recent past, educational institutions have been under pressure to eliminate or reduce any form of discriminatory actions (Carolyn, 2000). In most cases, affirmative action policies have been employed to comply with the requirements of the law. However, research shows that the affirmative actions have not completely neutralized the acts of discrimination.

Globally, the supreme courts have crowned lengthy legal campaigns to eliminate educational institutions segregation. However, most educational institutions are, today, committed to offering equal opportunities to all persons in the institutions irrespective of color, race, nationality, religion, age, sex and educational orientation. Affirmative action is the product of 1960s civil rights movement that was intended to permit equal opportunities in institutions for the disabled community.

Affirmative Action Debate

Affirmative action is a debate process than a policy admission. Recently, universities and colleges have reached out to unrepresented groups and sought their applications. As a result of affirmative action, the universities and colleges have doubled their admission of the representatives of minority persons. Studies show by Datcher & Garman (1993) indicated that institutions that abolished affirmative action policies have seen a decline of 61% of disabled student representation in the educational institutions. They insist that affirmative action is instrumental for socioeconomic educational developments. Moreover, students who benefited from affirmative action policies have reported positive lifestyle. Honestly, they have received better jobs with pleasant incentives. For this reason, they have sustained a better life because of the opportunity they were offered.

Diversity in the educational institutions permits learning advantages for every student inclusive of their intellectual and personal developments. People exist in the global society with multiple cultures, therefore, for everyone to be prosperous; the educational stakeholders must effectively work together with a diverse society surrounding them. The affirmative action policies are instrumental for compensation of the economic, racial and social harassments. Normally, the persons who enjoy high social and economic status receive numerous opportunities than the people from lower economic and social backgrounds.

The supports of the affirmative action are of the opinion that certain ethnic or racial groups have limitations in access of education. Ideally, this might be because they are in the brackets of lower income and hence not exposed to resources navigating on the educational institutions than their counterparts from higher social and economic class.

Globally, affirmative action advocates are in support of the competition between the students based on their merit. However, they argue that the affirmative action is crucial for the compensation of the economic disparities. Although some opponents of affirmative action points out that the policy has led to division of the society along ethnic, economic, gender and nationality lines, the supports coherently argue that affirmative action incites the tensions that results from racism because the policy raises racial consciousness


The controversy surrounding the policy of affirmative action in the educational sectors are related to the perceptions of the public. Evidently, there is a lack of proper execution of the policy navigating on affirmative action (Hwok, 2012). This has led to variations in its actualization and an inadequate uniformity resulting in ideological clashes on the affirmative action nature. Additionally, the implementation of the policy has been downplayed by many critics of affirmative action. These argument clashes have resulted into contention against and for affirmative action. In a nutshell, affirmative action policies should be supported in educational institutions for the students to receive better equal chances irrespective of their socioeconomic significances.


Managing multiculturalism and diversity in the library: Principles and issues for administrators [Special topic]. (January 01, 1999). Journal of Library Administration, 27.

Datcher, L., & Garman, D. (January 01, 1993). Affirmative action in higher education. The American Economic Review (evanston), 83, 2, 99-103.

Carolyn, N., & Jane, M. (January 01, 2000). The impact of affirmative action legislation on women working in higher education in Australia: progress or procrastination?. Women in Management Review, 15, 8, 404-414.

Hwok-Aun, L. (January 01, 2012). Affirmative action in Malaysia: Education and emplyment outcomes since the 1990s. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 42, 2, 230-254.

Archibong, U., & Adejumo, O. (May 01, 2013). Affirmative Action in South Africa: Are We Creating New Casualties?. Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture, 3, 14-27.

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