English title: Positive Action in Europe: Just Rhetoric or a Contribute for Social Equity?

Author(s): Ana Isabel Ferreira Abraão de Queiroz Ribeiro - Nelson Ramalho -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2009

Abstract

Some countries, aware of the ineffectiveness of the simple proclamation of equal opportunities, adopted active measures of preferential treatment in order to achieve social equity. Equity means applying measures as fair as possible in order to avoid injustice. Within organizations and work contexts such measures manifest themselves as either the search for the proportional representations of determined social groups or the reward exclusively on the bases of meritocratic criteria. Positive action systems are a measure aimed at promoting this equity. However, they have been criticized for being ineffective or even perverse. Then, we must place de questions: How extensively do positive action systems contribute to uphold social equity? or Do they operate only at the rhetorical level? Stated otherwise, this study aims to verify if positive action systems exert a moderating effect in the relation between ethnicity and qualified employment. Hypotheses concern a moderating effect of positive action systems in the relation between ethnicity and qualified employment, wage, access to education, and employability. In order to test the hypotheses we used data provided by the European Social Survey and grouped a set of countries known for having positive action systems in work settings, and their counterpart countries in another cluster: countries that have generic equality of opportunity measures. The sample comprises 15201 respondents. Results show that positive action measures do exert significant effects granting ethnic minorities’ access to qualified jobs. Positive action measures are fulfilling their purpose: that of attaining social equity.

Conference name: ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting

Location: Dublin

Start date: Jul 14, 2009

Type: Paper