What is Affirmative Action? • Its’ History • What are the main arguments against affirmative action?
Critiques of AA • A) Reverse Discrimination • People are hired who are not qualified. • This assumes that merit is an objective quality that can be easily measured.
Challenges to the concept Meritocracy • Can we use standardized tests to determine merit? • Look at two “tests” and see what they measure.
Do such measures truly determine how well people can do in their jobs? • They measure parental SES • They do not measure GPA • Don’t measure various skills: like how well people interact with others.
Critiques of AA • B) Preferential Treatment – Even if people are equally qualified, it’s not fair to give one group preferential treatment • This assumes that other groups do not now receive preferential treatment.
Challenges to the idea that other groups do not already receive preferential treatment: • Alumni status • Homosocial Reproduction • Athletes • Research shows that women do better in college and are more motivated but make less money!
What Measures Should We Use to Hire? • 1) Article argues that the best method to determine whether someone is a good worker is: • Whether people can learn on the job • Past performance -- perhaps require portfolios • Bias can still affect people’s interpretations of “who’s good” so one also needs to be concerned with hiring process. Rethink the Whole by Bringing in the MARGINS (make the workplace more democratic)