Monday, January 18, 2010

Why Do University Professors Tilt Left? Part of the blame lies with Rush et al.

The Times, today,offers the best explanation yet for what it calls the "overwhelmingly liberal tilt of university professors:" research suggests that critics may have been asking the wrong question. Instead of looking at why most professors are liberal, they should ask why so many liberals — and so few conservatives — want to be professors.... A pair of sociologists think they may have an answer: typecasting.
According to the study, the stereotype of a university professor as secular and liberal is what "influences younger people’s ideas about what they want to be when they grow up." Just as few young men grow up with an ambition to become nurses, the study claims that hardly any young conservatives acquire a desire to become university professors. In the former case the profession is typecast by gender; in the latter the typecasting is political.

The study goes on to argue that this problem is one conservatives helped make themselves. When conservatives complain about the liberal academy, and speak of it as a place when students are brainwashed and subjected to liberal bias they're also effectively telling young conservatives not to pursue careers in the academy. As the article concludes: “The irony is that the more conservatives complain about academia’s liberalism the more likely it’s going to remain a bastion of liberalism.”

Search for more information about self-defeating complaints at

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