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THE BLOG

Campus and Community II: A Longitudinal Extension

In a recent book, Land Grant Universities for the Future, Stephen Gavazzi and Gordon Gee analyze polling data from land grant universities and their host communities and find that institutions of higher learning tend to be “islands of blue” which mirror state capitals and major urban areas, inside “vast seas of red” – i.e. the..

misunderstanding heterodox academy

Misunderstanding Heterodox Academy

Around this time last year, I had the honor of sharing the stage with former UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks for a dialog on academic freedom. While the event was billed as a “debate” between us, it turned out that we held a lot more in common than we differed on the core issues. And..

Academic Grievance Studies

Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship

Over the past year, Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay & Peter Boghossian published a series of hoax papers in humanities journals oriented towards the “critical study” of gender and sexuality. Their plot was discovered midway through, forcing them to go public prematurely. In a journal-length essay explaining their methods, findings, and intentions, “Academic Grievance Studies and..

beauchamp

Vox’s Consistent Errors on Campus Speech, Continued

Let me start by saying that in some respects, it is a strange debate between Beauchamp, Yglesias and I: In the highly-polarized political environment in which we find ourselves, it seems to be a standard assumption that if someone is criticizing one position, it must be because they personally hold the opposite view themselves. For..

vox catchphrase

Vox’s Consistent Errors on Campus Speech, Explained

The Free Speech Project (FSP), based out of Georgetown University, attempts to document “incidents in which Free Speech has been challenged or compromised in recent years, and collect analysis from various points of view of the struggle to sustain First Amendment Values.” This is a great initiative. In fact, Heterodox Academy recently ran a post..

underrepresentation

Data on how Ideological (Under)Representation Compares to (Under)Representation Along the Lines of Race, Gender or Sexuality

However, a question has come up time and again regarding the relative scale of these challenges: how does the lack of, say, political diversity measure up when compared to underrepresentation by race, gender or sexuality? To get at this question, we can compare rates of faculty identification across different identity measures.

moral disagreement

Three Strategies for Navigating Moral Disagreements

We in America and Western Europe, and by now many other places in the world, have this idea of people as fundamentally rational. On this account, our profound cognitive abilities are designed to help us discover objective truths about the world through logical argument and empirical observation. Contemporary research in cognitive science, psychology and related..

media bubble

The Media Bubble is Real — And Worse Than You Think

In a recent article for the Times Higher Education I pointed out how the lack of ideological diversity among social researchers not only undermines the extent to which research is trusted, funded or utilized, but also undermines researchers’ “capacity to understand phenomena, predict trends, or craft effective interventions.”

A recent study by Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty, published by Politico, suggests that journalistic outlets face many of the same challenges as academic institutions:

microaggressions

Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence

The concept of microaggressions gained prominence with the publication of Sue et al.’s 2007, “Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life,” which defined microaggressions as communicative, somatic, environmental or relational cues that demean and/or disempower members of minority groups in virtue of their minority status. Microaggressions, they asserted, are typically subtle and ambiguous. Often, they are inadvertent or altogether unconscious. For these reasons, they are also far more pervasive than other, more overt, forms of bigotry (which are less-tolerated in contemporary America).

The authors propose a tripartite taxonomy of microaggressions:

Microassaults involve explicit and intentional racial derogation;
Microinsults involve rudeness or insensitivity towards another’s heritage or identity;
Microinvalidations occur when the thoughts and feelings of a minority group member seem to be excluded, negated or nullified as a result of their minority status.
The authors then present anecdotal evidence suggesting that repeated exposure to microaggressions is detrimental to the well-being of minorities. Moreover, they assert, a lack of awareness about the prevalence and impact of microaggressions among mental health professionals could undermine the practice of clinical psychology—reducing the quality and accessibility of care for those who may need it most.