The Dynamics Of Political Correctness Essay

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Correctly Political: A Look into the Dynamics of Political Correctness

Every American probably knows what it means to be politically correct.
After all, we hear about it on the news almost every night. We have to be constantly aware of whether or not something we say or do is going to offend someone. This mode of communication is present in every aspect of our lives, from the most formal to the most informal situations.
This paper will answer questions on the origin of the term ‘politically correct' and the applications of the communication pattern it refers to: who started it, who is doing it, and why. Is political correctness a good idea? Is it too pervasive?
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It evolved into a term of disapproval among leftists for those whose line-toeing fervor was too much to bear. (Richer and Weir 53) Thus, the expression went from having a positive meaning to having a negative meaning.
What we think of today as political correctness (PC) began in a recognizable form during the social movements of the late 1960's. PC was used as a self critique by social movements, each saw itself as politically/ethically correct. PC referred to the culture or practices of the women's movement or gay liberation or a Marxist party, but not to a common culture cross-cutting these movements. There existed a shifting line of conflict between movements, and groups could signify affinity or hostility with another group by proclaiming these movements politically correct. (Richer and Weir 53) Paul Berman, a well- known essayist, has a very interesting view of the social movement culture of the 1960's:

“The left wing uprising of circa 1968 had two phases, which were in perfect discord. The first phase was an uprising on behalf of the ideals of liberal humanism -- an uprising on behalf of the freedom of the individual against a soulless system. The second phase was the opposite, at least philosophically. It was a revolt against liberal humanism.
Is said, in effect: Liberal humanism

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