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affirmative action

the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority-group members, especially in employment.
Origin of affirmative action
First recorded in 1960-65
Related forms
affirmative-action, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for affirmative action

affirmative action

(US) a policy or programme designed to counter discrimination against minority groups and women in areas such as employment and education Brit equivalent positive discrimination
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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affirmative action in Culture

affirmative action definition

A term referring to various government policies that aim to increase the proportion of African-Americans, women, and other minorities in jobs and educational institutions historically dominated by white men. The policies usually require employers and institutions to set goals for hiring or admitting minorities.

Note: Affirmative action has been extremely controversial. Supporters maintain that it is the only way to overcome the effects of past discrimination and promote integration. Critics dismiss it as “reverse discrimination,” denying opportunities to qualified whites and men. (See Bakke decision).
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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