When Race Counts: The Morality of Racial Preference in Britain and America

Psychology Press, 1995 - 260 páginas
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When Race Counts investigates the use of race-conscious practices in social policy in Britain and America. It questions the distinction between affirmative action and preferential treatment, and evaluates the effectiveness of a range of education and employment policies designed to counteract both unintended and direct discrimination against ethnic minorities.

The book uses both empirical and moral analyses to examine the controversial dilemma of whether and in what circumstances preferential treatment may be used as a means of improving the condition of minority groups. John Edwards looks at justifications for overriding the merit principle, particularly in employment, and shows who bears the costs of such a policy, and where the benefits lie. He argues that the merit principle is in itself so flawed that to override it would cause no great damange to justice. He then sets out the requirements of an acceptable policy of minority preference tailored to the disadvantages of specific minority groups.


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The nature and varieties of affirmative action
The logic of affirmative action
the British experience
the American way with affirmative action
the United States
Britain and America
The moral dilemmas of preference
Equal opportunities merits and preferences
Tailored preference
A note on methodology
US Cases cited
Subject index
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John Edwards is Reader in Social Policy at Royal Holloway, University of London. His previous books include Positive Discrimination, Social Justice and Social Policy and The Enterprise Culture and the Inner City, both published by Routledge.

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