Reverse discrimination

From Academic Kids

Reverse discrimination is a term used to describe discriminatory policies or acts that benefit a historically sociopolitically nondominant group (typically minorities), rather than the historically sociopolitically dominant group.

The term "reverse discrimination" is sometimes considered synonymous with the terms affirmative action and positive discrimination. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, use the term "reverse discrimination" to describe the policies termed "affirmative action" in other countries, such as the US.

History

In the late 20th century, as numerous societies and countries began to believe that both contemporary and historic discrimination had resulted in an unfair and unjust social structure, some governments and companies instituted policies intended to redress this imbalance. Some minority advocacy groups, having established that the policy of equal opportunity had failed to bring about 'real' social equality, argued that more aggressive reversal policies were needed. The most widespread of such policies is known as affirmative action.

Effects and criticism

Proponents of such policies argue that they bring about a closer equality of opportunities among groups by creating an increase in opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups. The line defining protected groups is not always simple, with some historically disadvantaged groups, such as Asian Americans, as well as poor European Americans (whites), being disadvantaged by reverse discrimination policies.1 Critics of reverse discrimination believe proponents take a situational stand where a principled stand is more appropriate, arguing that the practice replaces one form of discrimination with another. As a form of discrimination, reverse discrimination is considered illegal in some countries, such as the United Kingdom.

See also

Discrimination

Counter-discrimination

Cases involving counter-discriminatory practices

Miscellaneous

External links

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