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In their article towards social exclusion in business, Bakan and Kobayashi have addressed the issues related to employment equity. The argument in the article is focused on Canadian experience in the area of employment equity and the evolution of political thought regarding minorities’ rights. The facts presented in the article help understand the peculiarities of employment legislation in Canada and their impact on business.
The focus of the author’s attention is the problem of avoiding backlash during the policy-making process and how the fear of backlash causes the lawmakers’ slow-down when debates in society become heated. The purpose of this discussion paper is to summarize and analyze the class reading and make conclusions regarding the significance of its contents for understanding the theme of the week “Program of Action on Diversity and Inclusive Business” and understanding social exclusion in business.
Class Reading Summary and Analysis
The authors’ main thesis regarding employment equity in the Canadian context refers to the problem of backlash. It amounts to stating that the fear of a backlash similar to the one that took place in the U.S. continues to affect the country’s policy in the area of employment. This fear affects the points of view of both the proponents and opponents of equity (Bakan & Kobayashi, 2007). The outcome of backlash apprehension was the creation of the unique concept of ’employment equity’ by the prominent theorist, human rights activist, and outstanding jurist, Rosalie Abella. The concept appeared a unique finding and was widely appreciated by nations throughout the world as the path-breaking legislative innovation.
In this reading, the authors have explained that the backlash phenomenon eventually has had quite a modest impact on the employment legislation-making process in Canada despite the concerns expressed by the prominent figures in the policy-making. However, the presence of backlash fears affected the dynamics of the Canadian human rights legislation development by slowing it down to a certain degree. Bakan and Kobayashi (2007) comment on this situation and the relative lack of legislative advancement by stating that “the politics of concession to backlash were elemental and, despite the advocates’ intentions, fed rather than forestalled backlash arguments” (p. 162).
The authors have also explained that the other factors having a significant impact on the lack of progress in the area of employment equity legislation are “new forms of racism and sexism that wield tremendous discursive power”(Bakan & Kobayashi, 2007, p. 162). Making their conclusion as for the measures that can be taken to speed up the policy-making process and ensure productive outcomes in the future, Bakan and Kobayashi (2007) noted that “strategies to resist and redress the effects of systemic discrimination need to consider the lessons of backlash, not only as they relate to employment equity but in the wider context challenging racism, sexism, and all forms of bigotry”(p. 163).
They have also compared the importance to avoid the risk of backlash and fear of backlash while formulating the new strategies with the attentive care applied to considerations of the falling consequences and concessions making as a result (Bakan & Kobayashi, 2007).
Class Reading Evaluation
The knowledge gained from this reading helped me increase my understanding of the issues related to social exclusion in business. Particularly, I increased my awareness of the importance of racism in free workplace strategy. In addition, I realized that social and economic progress is necessary for effective business and they are only present at the intersection of interests of all members of society. The essential conditions for this progress are equality, concession, and inclusion because they are vital for integrated economic development.
I have also understood the peculiarities and complexities of the policy-making process for the elimination of unnecessary barriers at the labor market and still regulating it according to the economic and social needs of the nation. I realized that not only the phenomenon of backlash but the fear of it can significantly slow-down the advancement of political thought and policy-making progress.
The Reading-Based Question to Class
Reflecting on the history of the policy-making process in Canada in the area of employment equity, what lessons can be learned to avoid possible barriers and establish the favorable conditions that would bring the maximum value for the national business and Canadian society and economy?
To sum up, it should be noted that the given class reading provides new insights into the process of Canadian legislation development regarding employment equity. It also explains the difficulties that emerge during the process of legislation development including the problem of backlash itself and the fear of backlash. Interestingly, the phenomenon of backlash itself did not have such significance as it was in the United States but the fear of backlash in Canada had similar implications for the policy-making process. The significance of this class reading for understanding social exclusion in business is the finding that equality, concession, and inclusion are the necessary conditions for effective development of the business environment and labor force market in the country.
Bakan, A., & Kobayashi, A. (2007). Affirmative action and employment equity: Policy, ideology, and backlash in the Canadian context. Studies in Political Economy, 3, 45-166.