What is Positive Discrimination, What Does It Mean?June 28, 2021
Affirmative discrimination refers to the effective recruitment of people in communities with previously limited basic opportunities. In other words, affirmative action means not treating those who knowingly and voluntarily apply for a job equally, in other words, being on the side of the people of the communities against which discrimination is frequently made.
The purpose of treating people unequally in this way is to accelerate the process of society becoming a more equal society; this can only be achieved by redressing the imbalances in certain occupations, but also by ensuring that traditionally less privileged groups are role models to be followed by young people.
According to this, despite the fact that there are many women who have completed their undergraduate degrees in England, for example, the number of male academics in universities is higher than that of women. Someone who advocates positive discrimination argues that instead of waiting for this situation to change by itself, we should act positively and effectively and discriminate in favor of female candidates for university teaching positions. This means that we have to select the female candidate from among a male and a female candidate who apply for the same position and have almost equal ability. However, many advocates of affirmative action go even further, saying that even if the female candidate is less able to fulfill the job requirements than the male candidate, we should prefer the female candidate to the male candidate.
Affirmative discrimination is a temporary method to continue until the percentage of members of the traditionally discriminated community more or less corresponds to that group’s percentage in the population. This is illegal in some countries, while in others it is required by law.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook; “Introduction to Philosophy” by Nigel Warburton