The Concept of Affirmative Action Analytical Essay by Nicky

The Concept of Affirmative Action
A critical examination of the concept of affirmative action with respect to its history and presence in the contexts of education and occupation.
# 149007 | 2,210 words | 8 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper explores the literature on affirmative action with an intent to identify the arguments against it and to illustrate that affirmative action is a problematic and unconstitutional approach to addressing America's issues of cultural racism. The paper looks at several landmark decisions and discusses how under poor leadership, affirmative action can actually have the impact of damaging the cause for equality, drawing the criticism of political groups on both sides of the racial spectrum. The paper reaches the conclusion that it remains unclear if the initiatives of affirmative action both better the situations of their subjects and remain within the bounds of Constitutional law.

From the Paper:

"In 2000, Gratz v Bollinger began the long process of defending the Constitutionality of Affirmative Action as a factor in shaping admission criteria for potential students. Based on the concept that ethnic diversity could be considered a suitable goal for a university in selecting the members of its student body, a federal court found in favor of the University's reliance upon the practice. After being nullified the following year by a contrary decision in Grutter v Bollinger, then subsequently overturned once again on appeal, the University's policy was ultimately vindicated in the United States Supreme Court. In a landmark 5-4 decision, the highest court upheld "the University of Michigan Law School's policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers 'a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.'" (Brunner, 1) This 2003 determination stands as the currently resonating federal stance on the concept of Affirmative Action. This is in spite of the progress which a number of individual states have had in banning the use of affirmative action either in school admissions or job placement. California and Washington are two examples of states which during the 1990's enacted legislative prohibitions to the use of race, ethnicity, religion or gender in making employment or educational decisions."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brunner, B. (2004). Timeline of Affirmative Action Milestones. Black History Month. Online at
  • Cosner, K. L. (1997). Affirmative Action in Higher Education: Lessons Directions from the Supreme Court. Journal of Law: Indiana University. Online at
  • Fernandez, J. (2005). Confronting Racism through Workshops. News Record. Online at
  • Foxworth, R. (2005). The Color of Politics and the Idiocy of American Racism. Baltimore Chronicle. Online at <>
  • Froomkin, D. (1998). Affirmative Action Under Attack. Washington Post. Online at <>

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Concept of Affirmative Action (2011, November 20) Retrieved March 01, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Concept of Affirmative Action" 20 November 2011. Web. 01 March. 2024. <>