Affirmative Action


TheUnited States has had a bad reputation on how it has historicallytreated minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics.However, formal discrimination was abolished in the civil rights era.Additionally, in recognizing the marginalization and disadvantagesfaced by minorities in the American societies, affirmative action wasintroduced as a compensation tool. The most important application ofaffirmative action has been in the education sector. Over the years,affirmative action has been used in colleges and universitiesadmissions where the race, for example, has been used as a criterionof admission. This has been aimed at increasing the chances ofminority groups to join institutions of higher learning. This hasalso enhanced social diversity in colleges and universities. However,affirmative action has received huge criticism. In the recent past,the legality of affirmative action in colleges and universitieseducation has been challenged in court. There are several criticismsthat have been raised against affirmative action. According toFischer &amp Massey (2009) some of the most important criticism hasbeen affirmative action undermines the performance of student fromminority groups by assuring admission to less qualified students. Ithas also been argued that affirmative actions promote stigmatizationof students from targeted groups. Although the research by Fischer &ampMassey, D. (2009) indicates that minorities are views as academicallyand intellectually weak students due to affirmative actions, it doesnot undermine their academic performance. Crosby et al (2003) arguesthat although there are benefits as well as costs associated withaffirmative actions in colleges and university admission. However,the most important issue is the fact that affirmative action policiesdo not violate the principle of fairness.


  1. Should affirmative action be banned in colleges and universities admission?

  2. Are there viable alternatives to affirmative action in colleges and universities admission?


Crosby,Faye J. et al. “Affirmative action, psychological date and thepolicy debates”. AmericanPsychologist58(2), (2003), p 93-115.

Fischer,Mary J. and Massey, Douglas, S. “The effects of affirmative actionin higher education”. SocialScience Research36(2007) p 531-549.