The Psychology of Political Correctness in Higher Education
William O'Donohue & Richard E. Redding, The Psychology of Political Correctness in Higher Education, in THE POLITICALLY CORRECT UNIVERSITY: PROBLEMS, SCOPE, AND REFORMS (Robert Maranto, Richard E. Redding & Frederick M. Hess eds., 2009).
19 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2010 Last revised: 30 May 2014
Date Written: October 21, 2010
In this chapter, we deconstruct the psychological goals and assumptions underlying the foundational principles of the politically correct university, which emphasize diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation but not sociopolitical ideas, and that require cultural sensitivity (seen in policies such as speech codes) so that minority and disadvantaged groups do not suffer offense or harm. Drawing on recent psychological research, we argue that sociopolitical diversity may be the most important form of diversity for achieving the educational benefits that diversity is supposed to produce. In addition, we challenge the assumption that certain viewpoints, research agendas, and speech should be prohibited or curtailed because they will offend and harm certain groups. We conclude by briefly exploring the consequences of PC for scholarly inquiry and academic debate.
Keywords: Higher Education, Political Correctness, Diversity, Multiculturalism, Cultural Sensitivity, Speech Codes
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