The Children of Political Correctness
15 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2018 Last revised: 27 Jan 2019
Date Written: March 11, 2018
By common affirmation, a new form of political correctness has developed on college campuses over the last few years. It is said to be marked by a feeling of endangerment that supposedly comes from exposure to certain ideas. Hence, it is marked by demands for trigger warnings, safe spaces, and the like. The predominant explanation for this new PC is that today’s students have been the product of overprotective “helicopter parents,” who believe the world is a dangerous place for their children and have passed this feeling of endangerment to their children. I argue, by contrast, that what marks these students is not that they are children of helicopter parents, but that they are the children of political correctness. They have grown up within a tightly defined ideological framework that is based on certain fantasies and their options for concepts of themselves are limited to instantiations of these fantasies. Ways of seeing things that are in conflict with these fantasies therefore threaten their sense of who they are. The danger that they feel is not physical, but existential.
Keywords: political correctness, helicopter parents, self-concept, ideology
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