The Politically Correct University
THE POLITICALLY CORRECT UNIVERSITY, Robert Maranto, Richard Redding, Frederick Hess, eds., 2005
342 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2009 Last revised: 9 Mar 2021
Date Written: 2005
This book explores and offers remedies to the culture of political correctness in American higher education. We focus on the problem of liberal political orthodoxy in teaching and scholarship and seek to understand how diversity – of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, but not of ideas -- has become the dominant ideology in higher education. The dearth of conservative, libertarian, and neoliberal thinkers limits the type of questions asked and the phenomena studied; hinders credibility and dialogue between academic experts and large swaths of voters and policymakers; and, by limiting students’ exposure to different ideas, inhibits the ability of the university to produce thoughtful citizens. The book provides the most current and comprehensive statistical analysis of the relative rarity of conservative and libertarian professors, and takes an in-depth look at the effects of political correctness on specific academic disciplines, including political science, history, English, anthropology, and linguistics. It also explores the psychological and sociological mechanisms by which such imbalance comes about, and considers how and why academia stresses demographic diversity while largely eschewing political diversity. The book’s contributors contend that a combination of faculty composition, self-selection by conservatives, discrimination against conservatives in faculty hiring, and the tendency of political correctness to favor liberal views has produced a situation where conservative perspectives are often underrepresented in higher education. The contributors to this volume offer a range of solutions: programs or centers within universities, which operate outside official departments and allow conservative faculty to freely explore particular topics with sympathetic students; a larger role for alumni and trustees in overseeing their institutions; and a change in how liberal arts scholars understand themselves—not as provocative debunkers of accepted ideas, but as discoverers of truth.
Keywords: Higher Education, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, Diversity, Cultural Sensitivity, Conservatives, Professors, Politics, Education Reform
JEL Classification: I20, J70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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