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The Ethical Research on Affirmative Action in the USA

Author: XuYanJun
Tutor: LiLun
School: Hunan Normal University
Course: Ethics
Keywords: Affirmative Action racial discrimination compensational justice equal opportunity the theory of obligation utilitarianism
CLC: B82-05
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 101
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Abstract


The blacks were lagged behind due to history of discrimination in the United States. For compensational justice, in the mid-1960s the government started to enact Affirmative Action and give the preferential treatment to minorities, women and the social vulnerable groups in areas such as employment, education and government contracts in order to eliminate racial discrimination, promote genuine racial equality and gender equality. But American advocate free competition and meritocracy principle. Under the same market competition mechanism, everyone relies on personal ability to get a chance. So some people think that anti-discrimination law abolished the discrimination against blacks, It is already a great progress to give blacks people and white people equal opportunities to participate in market competition, in relative to the blacks who had no personal freedom and no opportunity to participate in the competition, and we can only go so far. While others think it is not enough, in addition to the abolition of racial discrimination we should also be positive to help blacks and give blacks more opportunities. But Affirmative Action which emphasised on race, was contradictory to constitution of the racial equality protection principle and ability in form, so it caused the social attention and dispute. But American advocate free competition and meritocracy principle, under the same market competition mechanism, everyone relies on personal ability to get a chance. So some people think that anti-discrimination law abolished the discrimination against blacks, to give blacks people and white people equal opportunities to participate in market competition is already a great progress, in relative to the blacks who had no personal freedom and no opportunity to participate in the competition, and we can only go so far. While others think it is not enough, in addition to the abolition of racial discrimination we should also be positive to help blacks and give blacks more opportunities. But Affirmative Action Which emphasised on race, was contradictory to constitution of the racial equality protection principle and ability in form, so it caused the social attention and dispute. People’s understanding of affirmative action has changes with social political and economic environment. Mid sixties people didn’t have a lot of questions of Affirmative Action, but by the mid-seventy of the issues were increasingly fierce, and in the ninetys calls for cancellation of affirmative action.The debates about the Affirmative Action were never discontinuous since it was put into action. The first chapter expounds the development path of the Affirmative Action. The debates about it are fierce. From the perspective of ethics the second chapter analyze the most intense debates: conflict against discrimination and reverse discrimination; conflict against the differences and equal; conflict against the legitimacy and rationality; conflict against compensational principle and the principle of merits, conflict against the quota and the representitive system; conflict against the principle of color-blind of the constitutional14th amendment etc. Does Affirmative Action have moral rationality? The third chapter does some ethics research in the following two aspects:first, we acknowledge the moral theory of the justice principle and the theory of compensation and the utilitarian theory on the basis of the maximum utility principle. We consider if Affirmative Action is in compliance with the above two ethical principles; Second, do the above two ethical principles conflict when we continue to implement the policy today? From the point of the the time of the design, Affirmative Action is focused more on principles of justice. It is fair to give the black people preferential treatment, but the Affirmative Action have been implemented for many years and now continued which is more likely to be based on utilitarian principle. People think that the policy conformed to the principle of maximum utility is beneficial to the diversity of American society and many other social utility, but it raises a question:can utilitarian (including social utility) sacrifice justice? People think that the policy is beneficial to the diversity of American society, and many other social utility, conform to the principle of maximum utility. But this raises a question:can utilitarian (including social utility) sacrifice justice? If we continue to enact the Affirmative Action, does it really lead to be unfair for the whites? Does it transition the discrimination from black to white?The fourth chapter compares the similarities and differences of preferential policies in the United States and the policy of group preference in China. Although the implementation of Affirmative Action and the preferential policy is different between the two countries,but the means are essentially the same. In the field of college entrance examination enrollment our two countries have a variety of similarities. Implementation of Affirmative Action and preferential policies in the two countries also met a lot of social disputes. As long as it is a fair society, Affirmative Action will exist.But in various stages of social development object and means of Affirmative Action are different. Only improving the living standards of the disadvantaged Affirmative Action or preferential policies are fair.There are some problems of plus points for ethnic minorities in the college entrance examination in our country.The author analyzes some factors in the extreme case on our country college entrance examination, and detailed elaborate the uneven distribution of education resources in Beijing, Shanghai and in the college entrance examination enrollment every year, regional recruitment differences of the student proportion in the national key university.The college entrance examination must maintain social justice. To reealize educational fairness on starting point of the higher education, we should give minority plus preferential treatment to achieve the unity of the starting justice and result justice.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > Ethics ( moral philosophy ) > Ethical theory and methodology > Ethics and science
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