Political Correctness-Reality or Myth in the Academic WorkplaceReport as inadecuate

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Political correctness (PC) is often associated with attempts to place limits or boundaries on expressions of racist, sexist, or homophobic attitudes and feelings. PC is most often associated with such efforts on college and university campuses. Many critics of PC have attempted to suggest that these activities pose a great threat to American society. They suggest that PC is restrictive of opinion and free expression. The comments of Nat Hentoff are typical. He notes that "many white male students, faculty members and administrators are convinced that speech must have its limits if racism, sexism, and homophobia are to be extirpated in and out of the classroom." It would be naive, however, to assume that anti-PC criticism is a by-product of objective investigation. Much of the anti-PC rhetoric is a direct result of highly organized and well-funded campaigns by conservative elements. Further, virtually all of the evidence against PC consists of collections of anecdotes. There is no hard, quantitative data to prove the extent or impact of a PC "movement." Also, the sheer quantity of faculty engaged in higher education in this country suggests that political viewpoints are far more diverse than a PC norm. An objective examination of the status of PC on American campuses casts much doubt on the positions advanced by critics--it seems unlikely that there is much, if any, organized effort to program students with PC ideas. (Contains 60 footnotes.) (TB)

Descriptors: College Faculty, Conservatism, Higher Education, Humanities, Language Role, Liberalism, Political Attitudes, Racial Bias, Sex Bias, Social Values, Universities

Author: Shelton, Michael W.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9634&id=ED384925

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