Affirmative Action at Work (Paperback)

Law, Politics, and Ethics

By Bron Raymond Taylor

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822954538, 272pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 1991

List Price: 32.95*
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Bron Taylor unites theoretical and applied social science to analyze a salient contemporary moral and political problem. Three decades after the passage of civil rights laws, criteria for hiring and promotion to redress past discrimination and the sensitive “quota” question are still unresolved issues.

Taylor reviews the works of prominent social scientists and philosophers on the moral and legal principles underlying affirmative action, and examines them in light of his own empirical study. Using participant observation, in-depth interviewing, and a detailed questionnaire, he examines the attitudes of four groups in the California Department of Parks and Recreation: male and female, white and nonwhite workers. Because the department has implemented a strong program for ten years, its employees have had firsthand experience with affirmative action. Their views about the rights of minorities in the economy are often surprising.

This work presents a comprehensive picture of the cross-pressures-the racial fears and antagonisms, the moral, ethical, and religious views about fairness and opportunity, the rigid ideas-that guide popular attitudes.

About the Author

Bron Raymond Taylor is professor of religion and nature at the University of Florida.

Praise For Affirmative Action at Work: Law, Politics, and Ethics

“This study succeeds in that it takes existing theories on distributive justice, articulates the normative implications of these theories, and proceeds to evaluate their external validity in light of the evidence collected. It also expands our understanding of how individuals reconcile their beliefs about affirmative action policies with the tenets of liberalism as the dominant moral and ethical philosophy of this country.”
—Administrative Science Quarterly

Affirmative Action at Work provides an excellent introduction to the legal and ethical issues that comprise the current debate over the legitimacy of affirmative action programs. Moreover, the book affords the reader a rare insight into how members of the work force who, on a daily basis, see and feel the impact of affirmative action view the issue.”
—Michigan Law Review