Why are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?
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Why are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?

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Description

Some observers see American academia as a bastion of leftist groupthink that indoctrinates students and silences conservative voices. Others see a protected enclave that naturally produces free-thinking, progressive intellectuals. Both views are self-serving, says Neil Gross, but neither is correct. Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? explains how academic liberalism became a self-reproducing phenomenon, and why Americans on both the left and right should take notice. Academia employs a higher percentage of liberals than nearly any other profession. But the usual explanations--hiring bias against conservatives, correlations of liberal ideology with high intelligence--do not hold up to scrutiny. Drawing on a range of original research, statistics, and interviews, Gross argues that "political typing" plays an overlooked role in shaping academic liberalism. For historical reasons, the professoriate developed a reputation for liberal politics early in the twentieth century. As this perception spread, it exerted a self-selecting influence on bright young liberals, while deterring equally promising conservatives.Most professors' political views formed well before they stepped behind the lectern for the first time. Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? shows how studying the political sympathies of professors and their critics can shed light not only on academic life but on American politics, where the modern conservative movement was built in no small part around opposition to the "liberal elite" in higher education. This divide between academic liberals and nonacademic conservatives makes accord on issues as diverse as climate change, immigration, and foreign policy more difficult.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 144.78 x 210.82 x 35.56mm | 521.63g
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 3 line illustrations, 1 graph, 5 tables
  • 0674059093
  • 9780674059092
  • 990,364

About Neil Gross

Neil Gross is Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia.show more

Review quote

The question is not whether college professors are liberal...The much more interesting question is why college professors are liberal, and sociologist Neil Gross has studied it for years. His results are worth considering...Gross is at his best when he's explaining his surveys and experiments and using them to evaluate competing theories of professors' liberalism--and fortunately, he spends a lot of time doing that. Readers will gain a nuanced understanding of the subject, and conservative readers in particular will find many interesting nuggets here.--Robert Verbruggen"National Review" (05/06/2013)show more

Rating details

18 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 11% (2)
4 44% (8)
3 44% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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