Why Are Professors Liberal, And Why Do Conservatives Care?

1287 WordsFeb 13, 20176 Pages
Why are professors liberal, and why do conservatives care? This question has been dancing in the background of American academia for decades, and yet almost no one has acknowledged its significance. People from all positions on the political spectrum seem to have accepted this reality to some extent, but what does it mean for education today? Neil Gross conducted a series of research experiments over the course of seven years, discovering the bases for this claim and the implications it holds for educators and students. His publication of Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? offers an in-depth examination and analysis of professional politics on college-campuses, giving its readers a new answer to an old question.…show more content…
Gross and a colleague of his, Solon Simmons, enacted a study to update previously conducted research to modern standards (pp. 34-41). They examined preferences, values, and historical tendencies. The results led to Gross’s creation of the “political identity” approach for academics that he relies on throughout the remainder of his book (p.39). He found the majority of professors, in reality, did identify with the left side of the political spectrum. However, this taxonomy can be further broken down. Marxists, progressives, and centrist-democrats all account for the larger label of “democrat,” with most of them belonging to the progressive category. This liberalism, by American standards, is more lenient toward change and social equality. Why does this liberal concentration exist and what does it mean for students? These questions are inspected from outside perspectives in the second chapter. Researchers proposed four main hypotheses to clarify these circumstances. Pierre Bourdieu studied Parisian school faculties, concluding that their political tendencies were dependent upon their position class structure (p.69). While this had some weight in Europe, American politics were not so easily explained. Next, Steven Brint examined that perhaps the large amount of time spent in upper-level education institutions by professors leads to their liberalism (p.79). There was much empirical support for this claim until it was understood that people do not become

More about Why Are Professors Liberal, And Why Do Conservatives Care?

Open Document