Talk:Equal opportunity

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What other countries make affirmative action illegal? For whom do they make it illegal? What is their history of dealing with ethnic and gender differences and the residues of slavery? We need this information, or we just have an unsupported allegation.


Troll Fest[edit]

Jeez, this page is terrible as of now. Not sure how to flag it, I'll do so in a couple hours, hopefully I'll be able to work on it some. I think a straight-out revert to a couple of months ago might be in order. --AdamGomaa 18:37, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


Here are the changes I have made. Some overall thoughts:

  • Ton of junk. Removed a lot of it. The article is significantly smaller.
  • I moved USoA stuff to it's own section. It doesn't look nice, but I don't want it to look nice, because it should be out of place on it's own. More countries should be added, or the section just plain removed.
  • Took out loaded language. For example, there was a phrase that said something along the lines of "this could harm all classes (including the protected classes)." That's redundant and thus not explicit and clear in its meaning.
  • Cut a ton of BS added in the last couple of months that broke Godwin's law. Not that WP has to follow Godwin, but tying Equal Opportunity legislation to Fascism is a doozy.
  • Took out a couple of out-of-context links. I think they were added accidentally, although I don't feel like wading through the history to find out when they were added.
  • If you look at the last major paragraph that I changed, it absolutely contains my POV. It's not strictly wrong, or even POV to say that, although the clear line that is pushed is thus that "inheritance breeds inequality," which I believe to be true. But others may not. I'll leave it in anyway. The language could be toned down, but I'll let someone who actually wants to do the toning do so.
  • I like meritocracy and equal opportunity. Someone cross-check it to make sure it's still npov. kplzthx.

Thats all I can think of. Actually, the caffeine is wearing off. All the same. --AdamGomaa 19:28, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

We would like to be added as a link on this page[edit]

Hi, we are from Catalyst magazine. We think that visitors to this page would benefit from the articles in our free magazine and on our website. We would like to be added as a link if possible. If so, please let us know at

Catalyst is a new magazine from the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), in the UK. Catalyst was launched in January, and content from the first six issues can be seen at, along with regular web exclusive articles. Catalyst’s aim is to encourage debates on race and related issues like equality, identity, nationality, belonging and citizenship, engaging with views across the political spectrum to encourage frank and open discussion.

It is international in scope, covering anything from policy and the law, to economics, politics, sport, the arts and so on. It was launched to shed light on particular issues, rather than promote a CRE line. It is a free, bi-monthly publication, written in plain English so that it is accessible to all, and aimed at a broad, general readership. Anyone can subscribe via the website or by calling our distributors, TSO, on (+44) 0870 240 3697.


Please read all Wikipedia core content policies, particularly Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. Specifically, Wikipedia is not a Web directory or link farm! --Coolcaesar 18:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I'm removing four of the external links:

  • Equality and Diversity Training Specialists link is blatant spam;
  • Equal Opportunities International link is semi-spam (there may be relevant journal articles there but one wouldn't know that from the linked page—they're apparently not readily accessed without a subscription);
  • NAFEO link fails to provide useful information to complement article;
  • Center for Equal Opportunity link fails to provide useful information to complement article (and btw is a political advocacy group with an agenda whose scope goes way beyond thwarting equal opportunity).

This article needs a lot of work. I don't have time. Grrrr. Rivertorch 20:54, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Equal opportunity X= affirmative action[edit]

equal opportunity is ideally about giving everyone universal and equal access to health care universal and equal access to education, police protection, legal protection and defence, any one who puts in affirmative action is either confused, and uninformed or white middle class and trying to muddy the water, or both.

once you come out of high school with the same education as everyone else you're on you're own if you won't work you'll have to live off $50 a week! tuff cookies

affirmative action is wrong and racist, any liberal supporting it is harmin the cause of the disadvantaged.

any americans who travels to a real democracy and studies that society will learn their master/slave society is a sick excuse for a nation Esmehwp 15:55, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Equal opportunity is subject to a wide range of interpretatations. One can be laissez-faire and equal opportunity at the same time if what they mean by equal opportunity is simply equality in freedom. VersaWorka 16:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that "Equal Opportunity" generally refers to a set of employment policies designed to hire a more "diverse" workforce, which is generally about quotas. I would separate the concepts of Equal Opportunity and Equality of Opportunity, which is a philosophical concept stating that people should not be arbitrarily prevented from succeeding based on factors they cannot control. Equality of opportunity is about ceasing to stand in the way of people's success, while equality of outcome is about arbitrarily guaranteeing people's success. -- (talk) 15:27, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Ooh look, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines this. -- (talk) 15:30, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Equal opportunity is not equal outcomes. It is when all are under the same law and are free to pursue their desires, rather succeeding or failing. Free market capitalism is the equal opportunity economic system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Definition of M/F/D/V, please?[edit]

Frequently in employment advertisements in the USA, the letters "M/F/D/V" appear at the end of the ad. I suspect they have some relevance to Equal Opportunity, as described in this article, and in fact if one types "M/F/D/V" into Wikipedia's search box, it redirects to this article. However, it is not defined in the article, nor is its significance explained anywhere. My hunch is that it refers to "male/female/disabled/veterans" but I do not know for sure. If someone knowledgeable could please add (or add back?) some explanation, that would be very much appreciated. Thank you. Typofixer76 02:28, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

You are correct that besides religion, age, and sex, "M/F/D/V" stands for Male, Female, Disabled, and Veterans in the "Equal Opportunities Employment Act".Pcnubie2 (talk) 04:47, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

removing link[edit]

What relevance does the scouts association have to this? Moreover the link is broken and dosn't lead to anything. I'm removing it. Billsmith453 (talk) 12:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

"Unfair" vs "Equal" in an earlier edit[edit]

This edit still persists in the current version: Unfair opportunity practices include measures taken by an organization to ensure fairness in the employment process. Why are measures to "ensure fairness" deemed "unfair"? Someone please edit or explain this. (talk) 08:09, 29 April 2011 (UTC)


Hopefully it's much better than before. The past version, being so small, needed improvement as per tag. I had worked on the other equalities -- equality of outcome and equality of autonomy and thought this one would be easy, but it's kind of the toughest one of the bunch, perhaps. A real challenge will be trying to get a few relevant pictures in so the article doesn't look so texty. I found myself avoiding the issue of how differing political views thought of equality of opportunity (it was somewhat divisive on the outcomes article) and focused more on serious thinkers (Nozick, Friedman, Rawls etc) and a basic split emerged (formal vs substantive), akin to Sowell's stuff about constrained vs unconstrained from his book A Conflict of Visions.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 06:28, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Runway model photo?[edit]

Issues about equal opportunity have been raised about the skin color of runway models at the São Paulo Fashion Week; in 2009, quotas requiring that at least 10% of models be "black or indigenous" were imposed as a substantive way to counteract a "bias towards white models," according to one account.<ref name=twsH43/>

Is a photo of almost nude runway models necessary for an encyclopedic article of this subject? Seems to push the line on appropriateness without adding anything truly helpful. Soonercary (talk) 21:23, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, for five reasons: (1) It's directly relevant to the subject of equal opportunity -- the Fashion Week models had been almost exclusively light skinned and it became the subject of an equal opportunity battle over skin color with extensive coverage in the Brazilian press. (2) It's different -- since people expect encyclopedia articles to be boring and texty, it creates visual interest and catches attention and helps build readership (I bet most "readers" of Wikipedia only glance at articles, so that photos are relatively more important than sheer text (3) It's beautiful to look at. (4) it emphasizes a worldwide focus -- not just US and Britain, but an under-covered country like Brazil -- there is a consensus view that Wikipedia should be written for people all over the world. (5) the discrimination is ongoing and even evident in Wikipedia -- if you look through all the photos in the Commons, you will not find any showing dark-skinned or indigenous models at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week (I had wanted to include one of them) -- which is unfortunate and highly unfair to these beautiful women. Overall the idea is to illustrate with photos the idea that equal opportunity is not just about minority groups struggling over jobs but affects all kinds of people in various situations.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 23:25, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful response, but I would say the following regarding your points: 1) The photo itself is not directly relevant to the subject of equal opportunity. 2) Encyclopedia articles are not magazine articles that need flash and sex appeal to draw readership. 3) Irrelevant. 4) The "photo" is not important to emphasize the worldwide significance of the equal opportunity subject. A section addressing this would be more substantive. 5) Let that issue be addressed in an article about the Sao Paulo Fashion Week. Soonercary (talk) 17:39, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
And thank you for your response, but I remain unpersuaded. I continue to think the photo is highly relevant: the subject of the article is equal opportunity; a major point in the article is how equal opportunity is becoming applied increasingly widely (ie not just African-Americans vying for jobs) but for diverse areas including modeling; modeling is one of these areas where people don't normally think of discrimination being practiced (but it is) so the focus on this aspect enhances people's understanding of equal opportunity. Essentially, the photo makes two points rather nicely: (a) the widening sense of the concept of equal opportunity and (b) the substantive problem (that perceptions of what is considered beautiful can persist for generation after generation, so that people get used to equating "beauty" with "white skin", and seeing models with white skin reinforces a fixed idea of "beauty".) Substantive equality of opportunity is all about remedying that and breaking the cycle. Further, while other types of discrimination are no longer being practiced since they're illegal, discrimination in the fashion industry based on skin color is ongoing and still happening. I chose this photo because it prominently featured two of the three things I wanted (i) Brazilian models (ii) on a fashion runway (iii) skin color was dark-skinned. I had wanted to find "dark skinned or indigenous" but I could not find any in Wikipedia -- so, for me, I only got (i) and (ii). That was the best that I could find. I searched. There were other photos of the Sao Paulo fashion week but they didn't focus on the runway or the models or their skin color as nicely (mostly on judges). Last, this may not be much of an issue to you or me or most of us here at Wikipedia (I'm a card-carrying member of the Caucasian persuasion, and most writers at Wikipedia are men) but when I worked on articles such as physical attractiveness and if you see the talk page there, it is evident that skin color and beauty are ongoing issues -- with concerns about which women are included being rather contentious. See, you might think differently about the photo selection if you were a dark-skinned model who was rejected from the Fashion show only because of what you could not control -- your skin color. So, for these reasons, and trying to maintain a spirit of inclusiveness, I see the photo as directly relevant and apropos to furthering the gist of this article. (And I did address the discrimination issue in the Sao Paulo fashion week article.)Tomwsulcer (talk) 18:51, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Wondering, what is it about this photo that bothers you so much? You wrote that they're "almost nude" -- by contemporary standards, they're clothed -- this is not pornography by any stretch but a public event. While I agree that encyclopedia articles do not need "flash and sex appeal to draw readership", I think Wikipedia benefits when we can have beauty and yes even sexiness in our articles. I like readership. I want people to read this article. I want this Wikipedia article to be the best one out there on the web. Right now I think it competes favorably with the other sources I came across (most of which have no pictures whatsoever, not even any diagrams like the ones I included). And, when applicable and relevant, which I think describes this situation, I have no problem using the best-looking pictures I can find in Wikimedia Commons to illustrate the text.Tomwsulcer (talk) 18:51, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
It's simply a matter of maintaining high community standards. No censorship. The photo is obviously not pornography, but it borders on what many people - the community at large - would consider generally acceptable and appropriate for a quality encyclopedia, especially for an otherwise cerebral subject like equal opportunity. You've made a huge deal here about the issue of the Fashion Week, but the article is about the general subject, not this issue. The photo itself lends no credence to the core issue. It's a scintillating photo of sexy models - which would be appropriate for a page about scintillating sexy models, but not about equal opportunity, as much as you feel the circumstance related to the photo is relevant. It's not a huge issue here, but I think we need to work hard to uphold and respect community standards at large, because they generally exist to draw us back to what is important. You've put a lot of good work into this article; thanks for that. Let's keep that quality high. Soonercary (talk) 13:26, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. Clearly you feel strongly about this so I'll defer to your judgment here.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:02, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
By the way, check out these traffic stats Equal opportunity readership stats. Over 1000 in one day, up from the usual 500. I wonder why this happened.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:08, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Issues about equal opportunity have been raised about the skin color of runway models at the São Paulo Fashion Week; in 2009, quotas requiring that at least 10% of models be "black or indigenous" were imposed as a substantive way to counteract a "bias towards white models," according to one account.<ref name=twsH43/>
If you're implying that it is because of a photo of scantily clad models, well then you're probably right. But I thought Wikipedia had different purposes. Soonercary (talk) 18:25, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I'd like to think that the upsurge in readership was because the article was vastly improved in terms of overall quality and not because of Brazilian models, but who knows? It doubled. Why? I don't know. In past months the shorter unrevamped article got around 700 readers/day, particularly during weekdays, and in summer it dropped off, around 400/day. I wish I understood the readership dynamic better, but that's one of the great things about Wikipedia -- people read it, and I'm a big fan of getting people to read it, and the best overall draw is good, quality information, clearly written, well-referenced, and I think all of us -- collectively -- do an excellent job here, overall, wouldn't you agree?--Tomwsulcer (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Hey what do you think about this photo to the right? would it be suitable.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 15:46, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

More revamping[edit]

I'm adding new references, expanding some sections, hopefully getting this article to rival the others out there.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 17:01, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Great job, but the description of equal opportunity as a useful standard strikes me as utterly wrong. It is a political concept with many implications. If you look at many encyclopeidas, this is what they generally say, so I will make the change. Imersion (talk) 18:28, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the "great job" comment. About the concept of equal opportunity being primarily a political concept -- I did look at many encyclopedias. And when I looked into this, there were of course political aspects, but the concept itself I think is much bigger than merely politics, because it reaches into diverse areas and means many things to many people. So I would say it is not merely a political concept, but moral (in terms of fairness), economic, legal (the concept is highly embedded in law.) And in each of these areas, the concept of equal opportunity is like a standard (the etymology of standard is derived partially from the Roman sense -- a sort of military marker -- which has come to be used as a way to think about measurements) -- and the standard applies to many areas -- economic, legal, moral, and yes political too. If you'd like to argue that equal opportunity is primarily a political concept, please provide references attesting to this way of looking at things.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:25, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

The Equality of Opportunity of Henry George[edit]

This subject dealing with equality of opportunity is fundamental to the creation of social justice in the community. Yet when it comes to the contribution made by Henry George to it, nothing has yet been written here. Equality of opportunity means the right to work and earn a decent living, but this basic need, which somewhat obtusely appears in the Charter for the United Nations, is not properly explained, and the philosophy of creating a natural kind of macroeconomics is avoided.

What George was saying (130 years ago), is that whenever a site of useful land is owned and held unused or when it is occupied whatever use is made of it, these actions place the rest of the surrounding community at a number of disadvantages. There being a limited amount of useful land and its value being a function of its distance from the center of the community, this occupancy has the effect of reducing the productivity of the rest of the working community who must travel further or work harder to make the same amount of goods as could be made on the original site. The cost of the goods made further away rises too, which is likely to reduce consumption and limit the number of workers that are worthwhile to employ. Thus the best land is always used first, but subsequently becomes the most advantageous to its owner for the monopolization of its opportuntites.

Thus land ownership and speculation in its value, when it is partly used or withheld from use, damages the equality of opportunity that would otherwise occur. George went on to claim that the continuous advantage that the land owner gets when the land is in use, in terms of money is known as the ground rent. By collecting this economic rent a government can "level the playing field", causing the advantage of land ownership to become equal for all useful sites. George proposed to tax the value of the land in this way and to use this national income instead of income tax, purchase tax and property tax of buildings, machinery, etc. as the means for relieving the un-natural situation presently affecting the whole macroeconomy. Thus the ideal for social justice through the equality of opportunity to work is seen as a more natural and greater freedom creation kind of society than what our present system of land tenure has to offer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 15 June 2012 (UTC) Macrocompassion (talk) 09:57, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree the thinking of the socialist Henry George as it applied to his sense of the term equality of opportunity might merit a line or two, but not much more, and provided that we can find a good reference or two for it. To put any more emphasis on George's thinking risks turning this article into a WP:SOAPBOX. Also, Equality of opportunity does not necessarily imply a right to work -- rather, it is about, well, equal opportunities, fair treatment, and so forth.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Disabilities? Accessibility, ADA[edit]

The article covers a lot of ground on race/ethnic and gender discrimination and employment equity for those groups. Where's the info on people with disabilities and employment equity, mainstreaming (education), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and so on? That's a big oversight. OttawaAC (talk) 01:47, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Noted. Consider expanding the article to cover this.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 02:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
What is employment equity?--Tomwsulcer (talk) 02:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Two topics/ split the article[edit]

To me, this article is covering two seperate things in contemporary discourse:

1) Anti-discrimination, eg not excluding people based on race etc

2) The idea that your upbringing does not determine your life chances. Linked to social mobility. (To me this is what most people mean when they talk about equality of opportunity).

The article here, especially the intro, mainly stresses point 1. But a lot of articles link to this page referring to the second point.

I think this page should be exclusively about point 2, and a second article should be created for point 1. Entitled something like 'Movements against discrimination'

Jandrews23jandrews23 (talk) 16:49, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

If you wish to create a new article entitled Movements against discrimination, that might be a helpful addition to Wikipedia, and one could use perhaps some of the source material here in this article in the new one; however, I am not all that happy with the title Movements against discrimination since it sounds a bit POV-ish. And the term anti-discrimination -- well it can mean different things; in one sense, discrimination has already happened, and there are efforts of some sort to undo it or fight it or roll it back; in another sense, it means preventive efforts to discourage it from happening; so it would be important to be clear about what is meant here. About your suggestion to split this article into separate articles -- I was the contributor who revamped this article a while back, and my sense is that it is almost impossible to disentangle the notions of anti-discrimination and the concept of life chances & social mobility -- for me, these are all wrapped together, and one can not really talk about one thing without talking about the other. The current article as it is, is essentially what the sources say equality of opportunity and equal opportunity mean, essentially. When I researched the topic, I pretty much stuck with those two exact phrases in every search string, and the resulting secondary source material emerged from strictly adhering to those terms. So the article is solid, as I see it. Splitting it up might add elements of original research possibly. I guess what I am saying is that a split is possible, but only if carefully done, and it might risk causing a whole host of problems down the road, so I am mostly opposed to the idea unless I get a sense that whoever is doing the splitting has really researched this subject and done the homework. This whole subject is somewhat prone (but not as much as pure religion or philosophy or politics) to wikibattling, and too many changes might open up a Pandora's Box of new problems.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 17:40, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

How about this...[edit]

...I moved the sentence down a bit in the lede paragraph since I'm assuming that people who are reading this article don't yet know what equal opportunity is, so it doesn't make sense to say what the concept includes until more of the definition is outlined. But what I think is important to say, which I think is what you're trying to say, is that two key areas of equal opportunity are employment and education, so I tried (rather awkwardly) to convey this idea in the last sentence of the lede. Please see if you like the whole lede paragraph first before reverting.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 10:29, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Looks good. Thanks for the effort. Quercus solaris (talk) 21:10, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

These MS Paint images and various other misrepresentations have got to go[edit]

The diagram in question...
Another diagram...

This is a divisive topic no matter which way you look at it, but political posturing has left the article incoherent and quite frankly, terrible.

For instance, this image pair is incomprehensible. Not only is the production value low, but there is no indication as to how are intended to parse the difference between vague (and seemingly identical) categories like birth, genetics, and "choosing the right parents". Shouldn't being born to a wealthy family that values genetics imply that an infant has "chosen the correct parents"? Similarly, how is one supposed to understand the child of a lottery winner ("rich kid") who does not have quality genetics, or parents who value education? For that matter, second and third generations of extremely wealthy families who become degenerate? I suggest that these images be removed.

Similarly, this quote exists in the article as of 09/19/2016:

"The formal approach is seen as a somewhat basic "no frills" or "narrow" approach to equality of opportunity, a minimal standard of sorts", with a citation to


Here is the full text from that source, with respects to formal equality:

"The notion of formal equality of opportunity requires that positions, offices, and admissions in society are open to all applicants and that formal procedures are used to select candidates based on qualifications deemed relevant to successful performance in a position or program. Individual abilities and ambition are valued as criteria while factors derived from group identities assigned by birth or social class, such as race, family, caste, religion, are excluded. Equality of opportunity carries with it the promise of upward social and economic mobility due to the removal of legally protected rights and privileges for particular classes or groups. Equality of opportunity emphasizes procedural and legal means of providing equal access to social goods, in contrast to alternative approaches to equality; for example, equality of outcomes, equality of resources, and democratic equality. Equality of opportunity assumes that it is unfair if factors beyond the control of an individual significantly shape a person’s chances in life. Formal equality of opportunity can be justified as an enhancement of individual life chances as well as a means for maximizing the well-being of society. Proponents of equality of opportunity associate it with a meritocratic system in which the most talented and ambitious are the most rewarded regardless of socioeconomic background."

Nowhere do I see quotable text indicating that formal equality is somehow "no frills", or "narrow". Clearly, my perspective is different than the editor who added the images (and presumably the snippets as well), but I think that this article is in dire need of clean-up, and that an effort needs to be made by people of all perspectives not to misrepresent the views of experts on the subject.--2602:30A:2CFC:C6A0:24EF:9329:A0E8:97F9 (talk) 01:59, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Articles such as these are always in need of improvement. Regarding the "political posturing", what particular areas do you feel are over-represented or under-represented. Much of this article is based on the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Equality of Opportunity, which (in my view) treats the subject impartially from a political point of view (and our wiki version tries to do similarly). About the diagrams -- yes, they could be improved but I think they are better than nothing, as a way to illustrate the differences between formal and substantive equalities. Basic problem is copyrights -- if you can find images which are free for us to use, which illustrate the concept better, please swap them in, or else make better images yourself if you are talented in the graphics design dept.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:23, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Speaking bluntly, I think that the article would be improved by the absence of the disputed diagrams, for all of the reasons listed above. The quality of the images is less important to me than the content. If you want the images to be kept on the article in their current state, you need to respond to the critiques on substance.

"...there is no indication as to how are intended to parse the difference between vague (and seemingly identical) categories like birth, genetics, and "choosing the right parents". Shouldn't being born to a wealthy family that values genetics imply that an infant has "chosen the correct parents"? Similarly, how is one supposed to understand the child of a lottery winner ("rich kid") who does not have quality genetics, or parents who value education?"

As for political slants, without spending the time to dig any deeper, I'm not sure how one can read Richardt and Shanks 2008 piece (hosted on and come away with the conclusion that it is "narrow" or "no frills" without injecting their own values (I would object to the language in any case, as I'm weary of allowing colloquial language in quotes in a piece that should be formal writing). This isn't a slight against you; everyone is biased and it is very difficult to detect one's own bias, but I think that the outcome has worsened the article. In any case, thanks for fixing my formatting. --2602:30A:2CFC:C6A0:947D:50EF:A227:C75C (talk) 22:17, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes I think terms like "narrow" and "no frills" are pejorative and dubious and could get the ax. Still, I think it is important to try to get at the distinction which Stanford as well as Britannica are making, that is, between formal equality of opportunity (FEO) and substantive equality of opportunity (SEO). If we think in terms of a time-line, with time going from left to right, then the FEO model has the competition starting when the applicant competes for a position, and assesses the competition as fair if all applicants are treated similarly within the competition itself. The SEO model, in contrast, if I understand it correctly, begins before that -- such that actions are taken to ameliorate the pre-existing unfairness at the competition's start -- that is, actions are taken before the start of the competition, to help each applicant get up to speed (perhaps with special help or training, funding, tutoring etc) so that they have a 'fair' chance in the level-playing field competition. I think this distinction is important in that it does somewhat correlate with political orientations (ie, FEO with a conservative sense of equal opportunity, and SEO with a progressive/liberal sense of equal opportunity). Is it possible to somehow diagram this in a way that reflects what Stanford and Britannica are trying to say? I think so, but I agree, the current images are mediocre. And an image, if done right, could communicate the idea so much better than paragraph after paragraph of dry text, so I think it is something to strive for.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 22:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Just for purposes of discussion, I've been hunting around the web for ideas for images on this subject -- there aren't many -- but here are a few links...
I have not really found a diagram that illustrates the difference between FEO and SEO.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 23:29, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Equal opportunity versus Equality of Opportunity[edit]

Regarding this proposed change (which I reverted). What do we call this article? I pondered this for a long time when I revamped this article many years ago, and while the intellectual side of me likes the construct Equality of opportunity, what I found is that there are many more references to the term Equal opportunity being used in the media. The two terms are close to being interchangeable (I tried to mention the nuances in meaning in the article). So it's kind of a tossup, although I think the Wikipedia guidelines tell us to stick with the more-often-used term. Plus the style manual will suggest that we stick with the article title in the lede paragraph, to avoid confusing readers. Also, Equality of opportunity redirects to Equal opportunity. If a contributor can make a case that the two terms are separate and distinct, and each term deserves its own article, please make a case for that, and we can discuss it, although my sense is it would probably be a duplication of effort.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:21, 23 July 2017 (UTC)