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Affirmative Action: Advantages and Controversy

Affirmative Action: Advantages and Controversy

Affirmative action can be said to be a positive step in enhancing the diverseness of some particular grouping, oftentimes to redress the impression of elusive preconception. It is the act of rendering preferential treatment to some minority groups such as women and ethnic minorities in employment and admission to schools.

Thus, affirmative action came into being out of the wish for bringing the vulnerable groups into educational and professional establishments that had in the past been dominated by the white folks, especially men. Measuring the impacts of affirmative action is hard and full of controversies.

Some critics have debated that the global records of affirmative action have been fateful in the past given the historical ethnic conflicts. This paper aims to argue on the pros and cons of affirmative action.Affirmative Action: Advantages and Controversy

First, affirmative action is seen as an efficient and fair way of redistributing employment opportunities and school admissions from the whites to minority groups, more especially in the United States, thereby reversing the ancient discrimination and unfair treatment of employees or students on the basis of their color or gender.

Moreover, affirmative action brings people together in their workplaces; something that may not have been considered otherwise.

Whether it is males being introduced into the field of nursing or females into engineering areas, it is usually worthy to bring diverse people together hence bringing an end to stereotypes which in turn, will lessen the affirmative action in times to come. Interaction is actually a way of creating the realization that all groups regardless of their skin color or gender are equal and capable just as the other groups (Fischer, 2010).


Additionally, affirmative action is required as compensation to many hundreds of years of oppression. The blacks and other minority groups were enslaved, brutally punished and their rights denied, therefore affirmative action allows for a way to compensate the posterity for the wrong doings done to their ascendants.

Lastly, affirmative action serves as a tool to boost the minority groups in areas where they would have been otherwise segregated (Michigan, 2009).

On the other hand, affirmative action has its cons which include the fact that it degrades actual minority achievements. This means that, a successful attainment is pronounced a resultant of affirmative action instead of one’s industriousness or quality to perform.

Hence, some minority professionals who achieve their statuses by hard work may be viewed by some people as posts gotten through preferential treatment. A minority must thus work two times as hard in order to gain admiration (Tomasson, Crosby, & Herzberger, 2001).

Affirmative action is also patronizing and contemptuous to a minority group or an individual in that, it creates an implication that one can only get hired through preferential treatment and not one’s achievements and as a result, the subject is likely to suffer from low self-pride (Fischer, 2010).Affirmative Action: Advantages and Controversy

Additionally, affirmative action may lower the measures of answerability required to impel the employees for better performances. Though some workers are self-motivated, the majority require a bear on or a motivator to perform better.

Thus an individual might have the thought that they do not need to work hard or be disciplined in order to get hired or promoted since that would be achieved through preferential treatment (Tomasson, Crosby, & Herzberger, 2001).

To sum up, affirmative action is not a requirement anymore even though it creates some kind of equality in workplaces and learning institutions. Today’s society has changed with the realization that all people are the same and therefore the continual use of affirmative action will not erase the biasness toward the minorities but instead will heighten it. Affirmative action is no more a necessity.


Fischer, K. (2010). Advantages and Controversy of Us “Affirmative Action” Concerning African – Americans. GRIN Verlag.

Michigan, U. o. (2009). The evolution of affirmative action: background on the debate. Michigan Legislative Service Bureau.

Tomasson, R., Crosby, F., & Herzberger, S. (2001). Affirmative action: the pros and cons of policy and practice. Rowman & Littlefield. Affirmative Action: Advantages and Controversy


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