Political Correctness in Higher Education Institutions and the Workplace:
Chait, Jonathan. "Bad Examples. (Political Correctness and Academic Freedom)." Reason 25.7 (1993): 58. Print.
In this article, Jonathan Chait reviews the case of Professor David Goldberg, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, who was charged with creating a hostile environment for women and people of color in his class during the 1992-93 school year. This however was not the first time an issue like this occurred at the University of Michigan. In 1989, Professor Reynolds Farley, a liberal dedicated to understanding and fighting against racism, suspended his course on history of race relations after being accused of being racist. The reasoning behind these accusations came from his using of a description of Malcolm X that called him a “pimp” and used remarks from a nativist senator who commented that Mexican are lazy, etc. Farley claims that he in no way endorsed the material but rather used it for exemplary instances of the persistence of racial stereotypes. In David Goldberg case, his use of politically incorrect examples in a statistics course had him banned from teaching required courses. Agitation from students and junior faculty members arose after he used a series of data sets, cartoons, and lectures that diminished the importance of certain issues (unequal pay, racism, etc.). Goldberg’s sanctions for using this method of teaching demonstrated how academic freedom is being sacrificed for political correctness.
Goncalo, Jack A, Jennifer A Chatman, Michelle M Duguid, and Jessica A Kennedy. "Creativity from Constraint? How the Political Correctness Norm Influences Creativity in Mixed-sex Work Groups." Administrative Science Quarterly 60.1 (2015): 1-30. Web.
Work organizations have become progressively gender diverse over the years, however it remains unexplained as to why gender diversity in the work place has had a negative impact on the idea generation inside mixed-sex groups. Evidence collected from an experiment on two gender diverse groups, indicated that when a political correctness norm wasn’t implemented, both men and women experienced a sense of uncertainty. They often became frightful that their ideas would offend one another, or that their ideas would be degraded or rejected. For example, data collected showed that men were cautious and avoided using terms that could appear sexist, meanwhile women tended to keep certain ideas to themselves and/or allow men to take credit for their ideas. Group creativity research mostly consists of the idea that creativity is often released when one eliminates normative constraints, nevertheless evidence from this study showed that when the PC norm was implemented on the groups, it encouraged rather than intimidated the free expression of ideas. It reduced the doubt experienced by both sexes inside their mixed-sex groups and revealed that the group felt comfortable enough to the point that they shared better and many more ideas. In turn efforts to be politically correct can be justified, and even produce beneficial outcomes for work organizations that do implement a political correctness norm.
Van Boven, Leaf. "Pluralistic Ignorance and Political Correctness: The Case of Affirmative Action." Political Psychology 21.2 (2000): 267-76. Web.
In this article, Leaf Van Boven, discusses the issue of how appearing politically correct can have significant consequences for social life especially in institutions of higher education. Wanting to be politically correct, and evade being seen as sexist, racist, or culturally insensitive can lead people to believe and support politically correct issues. Affirmative action is an example of a politically correct issue, discussed by Boven. Affirmative action is often publically supported by people, despite personal doubts they may have. However, Boven studies’ show that these differences, between private attitudes and public behavior, lead to pluralistic ignorance. In these studies’, pluralistic ignorance, in relation to affirmative action amongst undergraduates, indicated that people overvalue their peers’ support for affirmative action (only 27% in favor) and undervalue their oppositions to affirmative action (46% against). The purpose of these studies was to draw attention to the demonstration of pluralistic ignorance in the case of affirmative action and debate the psychological effects of the political correctness movement.
Astin, Alexander W. “Diversity and Multiculturalism on the Campus: How Are Students Affected?” Change, vol. 25, no. 2, 1993, pp. 44–49.
Some debates surrounding the issues of multiculturalism, political correctness, and diversity (by academics and news media), discuss whether or not multiculturalism has benefits or dangers. However little evidence has been found to support both of these claims. Alexander W. Astin, a professor at UCLA, studied how students were affected by multicultural policies and practices on campus. The national study involved 82 outcome measures on 25,000 students attending college. The study showed that when students participated in “cultural awareness” workshops they strengthened their sense of personal empowerment. Such policies and experiences are linked with greater self-reported gains in cognitive and affective development, increased fulfillment in most areas of the college experience, and increased commitment to promoting racial understanding. It also found that emphasizing multiculturalism and diversity reinforces political liberalism on the campus. Alexander W. Astin states that we tend to forget and overlook the greater purpose of academic freedom in PC debate: the pursuit of the truth. To do so we must “encourage the expression of diverse points of view and to promote active discussion and debate of these different views.” (Astin 49)