Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 16: Social equity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action in the public sector: lessons from eight decades of struggle

J. Edward Kellough

Abstract

This chapter reviews efforts by government in the US to promote social equity by addressing the problem of discrimination based on factors such as race, ethnicity, and sex that has operated to suppress millions of people. Five key lessons from the past 80 years of struggle are highlighted. Among the items noted are the critical importance of early activists associated with the civil rights movement, the emergence of affirmative action and its various forms, and the role of the US Supreme Court in establishing the legal boundaries of affirmative action and related programs. The chapter concludes by noting that much progress has been made, but much work remains to be done.

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