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Examining the Positive and Negative Aspects of Affirmative Action

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  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding affirmative action
  3. Identifying the sex stereotypes
  4. Negative stereotypes of affirmative action
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

When one examines even the earliest hunter gatherer societies it becomes evident that women have always worked alongside men. Yet as societies began to progress away from the hunter gatherer lifestyle, women's work started to become less recognized despite its obvious importance. As time moved on and societies changed women were slowly pushed into the home and were essentially stripped of any political or economic power. However in the early 1900's began being called upon as a reserve wage labor force, in which they would receive very little pay for doing their work in comparison to their male counterparts. It was not until the Second World War that norms changed due to the fact that women were performing just as well in jobs previously done by males. Not long after, the state recognized the need for change and began the implementation of several governmental policies aimed at achieving racial and gender equality . One of these implementations was known as affirmative action, and served the demand for equal representation in the workforce through government imposed rules.

[...] Therefore while affirmative action may work in some fields, in others it may endanger the lives of people within the community as well as the lives of the employees. While at first glance gender based affirmative action appeared to be an effective and justified policy, the research showed that it does generate adverse effects. After reviewing the information it becomes evident that affirmative action is a remedy which is put into effect at the end of self perpetuating cycle. Instead of attempting to reduce the amount of racial and gender stereotyping, this program is essentially breeding a new problem. [...]

[...] Once the two sets of common stereotypes are listed all together, they come off as almost offensive and seem over exaggerated. However one can assume that when people stereotype by gender that they will most likely only use the most pertinent generalization for the situation, thus reducing the likelihood of the person being unbiased in the future. Nonetheless it is reassuring to know that these gender stereotypes do not hold up under scientific scrutiny as research has proven interesting results. [...]

[...] When examining affirmative action in Canada it is crucial to note that it is a justified practice which is protected by the right of equality within the charter of rights and freedoms. In fact the first human rights trial took place in 1984 between a Montréal women's group and Canadian National Railways whom had openly discriminated against female workers, having only filling positions within the company. After an attempted appeal, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action was an acceptable and effective remedy to combat discrimination (Chalmers et al. [...]

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