Why Are Professors Liberals?

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Recent research on the political attitudes of social scientists is reviewed indicating strong liberal bias and willingness to discriminate against professors with non-liberal attitudes. I argue that the liberal tilt of academia is the result of the rise of a cohort of Jewish academics in the 1960s whose political attitudes reflected mainstream attitudes within the Jewish com-munity but were well to the left of European-Americans in general. The academic world is hierarchical, with elite institutions able to dominate the image of ideal professors and sup-press or marginalize non-liberal views. Since the 1960s Jews have been strongly overrepre-sented among academics, especially in the social sciences and especially at elite institutions. The body of the paper shows that this transformation had the characteristics of successful in-tellectual movements pointed to by Gross and Fosse (2012): (1) those involved in the move-ment had a complaint (anti-Semitism, cultural exclusion); (2) they were able to form cohe-sive, effective networks; (3) they had access to the most prestigious academic institutions. (13) Why Are Professors Liberals?. Available from: [accessed Dec 10 2017].

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... This would be relatively easy as long as academics are realistic and accept results grounded in practice; however, often this is not the case, as liberal and left-leaning ideologies seem to have taken over and work hard to nullify results that do not fit into their world-views (cf. MacDonald, 2010;Fosse and Gross, 2012). The opposite case, to change the practice to correspond with theory is more difficult, although this has been tried with well-known consequences -I am referring to the socialist and communist era experiences in the countries where this was reality. ...
... This debate obviously is politically driven more so than based on logical inference (cf. MacDonald, 2010;Fosse and Gross, 2012). ...
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Safety aspects comprise an important determinant of urban location choice. How negative social externalities and their mitigation influences the attractiveness of housing, business, recreational and civic locations in cities concerns both human and property rights. Amidst the ongoing immigrant and refugee crisis this also requires dealing with current hot topics such as immigrant ghettoes and asylum centres. This paper argues that, in the face of practical problems of heightened risk for violent crime including terrorism, solutions ought to be pragmatic rather than ideological. Recognising and managing these problems are vital pre-conditions for keeping urban areas and neighbourhoods liveable. A successful management of this situation could then be used as a strategy for city competition. This in turn would help us return towards a constructive discourse concerning the issues at stake here.
... For example, as noted above, whites who express identitarian views publicly have been ostracized from family and friends, and they have been fired from their jobs by major corporations, etc. Individualism draws on my previous book, The Culture of Critique (MacDonald, 1998(MacDonald, /2002, to trace the origins of these phenomena. Meisenberg never asks the critical question why white identitarianism is outlawed in academia (see MacDonald, 2010), as though such suppression is natural and obviously a good thing. But the culture we live in now is not natural -indeed, it is unprecedented that a culture would anathematize the identity and interests of the peoples who created it. ...
This is an exchange between Kevin MacDonald and Gerhard Meisenberg on issues related to MacDonald's book Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition. Issues include 1. the origin of the ancient Greeks; 2. the genetic basis of individualism; 3. altruism in tribal moral communities; 4. populism and the intellectual elite; 5. tribalism and assimilation as they relate to immigrant communities in the West; 6. whether resisting immigration of genetically dissimilar peoples is adaptive; 7. ethnic genetic interests vs. genetic interests based on social class membership.
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The histories of all modern scientific and intellectual fields are marked by dynamism. Yet, despite a welter of case study data, sociologists of ideas have been slow to develop general theories for explaining why and how disciplines, subfields, theory groups, bandwagons, actor networks, and other kindred formations arise to alter the intellectual landscape. To fill this lacuna, this article presents a general theory of scientific/intellectual movements (SIMs). The theory synthesizes work in the sociology of ideas, social studies of science, and the literature on social movements to explain the dynamics of SIMs, which the authors take to be central mechanisms for change in the world of knowledge and ideas. Illustrating their arguments with a diverse sampling of positive and negative cases, they define SIMs, identify a set of theoretical presuppositions, and offer four general propositions for explaining the social conditions under which SIMs are most likely to emerge, gain prestige, and achieve some level of institutional stability.
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This article first examines the ideological composition of American university faculty and then tests whether ideological homogeneity has become self-reinforcing. A randomly based national survey of 1643 faculty members from 183 four-year colleges and universities finds that liberals and Democrats outnumber conservatives and Republicans by large margins, and the differences are not limited to elite universities or to the social sciences and humanities. A multivariate analysis finds that, even after taking into account the effects of professional accomplishment, along with many other individual characteristics, conservatives and Republicans teach at lower quality schools than do liberals and Democrats. This suggests that complaints of ideologically-based discrimination in academic advancement deserve serious consideration and further study. The analysis finds similar effects based on gender and religiosity, i.e., women and practicing Christians teach at lower quality schools than their professional accomplishments would predict.
This is a review of "The Israel Lobby" by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.
This article presents an approach to the study of the consequences of social movements that focuses on their capacity to produce "social capital." By social capital I mean ties that are based on mutual trust and mutual recognition among the actors involved in the relationship, although they do not necessarily imply the presence of collective identity. The influence of social movements may be regarded as dependent on their structural position, i.e., on the solidity of the linkages within the movement sector as well as—more crucially—of the bonds among movement actors, the social milieu in which they operate, and cultural and political elites. Therefore, the impact of a given movement or movement sector will be assessed in the light of changes in its components' relative centrality in various social networks. The broader the range of social capital ties emerging from a period of sustained mobilization, the greater the impact.
Higher education is becoming destabilized in the face of extraordinarily rapid change. The composition of the academy's most valuable asset-the faculty-and the essential nature of faculty work are being transformed. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein describe the transformation of the American faculty in the most extensive and ambitious analysis of the American academic profession undertaken in a generation. A century ago the American research university emerged as a new organizational form animated by the professionalized, discipline-based scholar. The research university model persisted through two world wars and greatly varying economic conditions. In recent years, however, a new order has surfaced, organized around a globalized, knowledge-based economy, powerful privatization and market forces, and stunning new information technologies. These developments have transformed the higher education enterprise in ways barely imaginable in generations past. At the heart of that transformation, but largely invisible, has been a restructuring of academic appointments, academic work, and academic careers-a reconfiguring widely decried but heretofore inadequately described. This volume depicts the scope and depth of the transformation, combing empirical data drawn from three decades of national higher education surveys. The authors' portrait, at once startling and disturbing, provides the context for interpreting these developments as part of a larger structural evolution of the national higher education system. They outline the stakes for the nation and the challenging work to be done. © 2006 The Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved.
The political liberalism of professors—an important occupational group and anomaly according to traditional theories of class politics—has long puzzled sociologists. This article sheds new light on the subject by employing a two-step analytic procedure. In the first step, we assess the explanatory power of the main hypotheses proposed over the last half century to account for professors’ liberal views. To do so, we examine hypothesized predictors of the political gap between professors and other Americans using General Social Survey data pooled from 1974–2008. Results indicate that professors are more liberal than other Americans because a higher proportion possess advanced educational credentials, exhibit a disparity between their levels of education and income, identify as Jewish, non-religious, or non-theologically conservative Protestant, and express greater tolerance for controversial ideas. In the second step of our article, we develop a new theory of professors’ politics on the basis of these findings (though not directly testable with our data) that we think holds more explanatory promise than existing approaches and that sets an agenda for future research.
Researchers have advanced several explanations for the liberalism of American Jews. Two of them-''universalized compassion'' and ''argumentative individualism''-posit the impact of values attributed to the Jewish tradition. Other theories focus on ''historical circumstance,'' ''minority group interests,'' and ''religious modernism.'' To examine these five theories, we analyze 20 National Opinion Research Center General Social Surveys from 1972 to 1994 (N = 32,380) amalgamated so as to obtain a sufficient number of Jewish respondents (N = 784). We find that Jews are indeed substantially more liberal than non-Jews in almost all issue areas. However, after sociodemographic and other controls are introduced, substantial gaps between Jews and others remain in just four areas: political self-identification (as Democrats and liberals), church-state separation (school prayer), social codes (largely issues relating to sex), and domestic spending. In contrast, Jews are not particularly liberal with respect to civil liberties, government intervention for the poor and ill, sympathy with African-Americans, or opposition to capital punishment. In addition, contrary to the expectations of the argumentative individualism explanation, Jews with intermediate levels of attendance at religious services are not particularly liberal. None of the results supports the two explanations based on traditional Judaic values. The three other explanations help explain Jewish liberalism in those discrete issue areas where Jews are indeed particularly liberal.
This remarkable book provides fascinating new insights into Freud's intentions in writing Moses and Monotheism-his only work specifically devoted to a Jewish theme. Yerushalmi presents the work as Freud's psychoanalytic history of the Jews, Judaism, and the Jewish psyche-his attempt, under the shadow of Nazism, to discover what has made the Jews what they are. In the process, Yerushalmi's eloquent and sensitive exploration of Freud's controversial final work provides a reappraisal of Freud's feelings toward his own Judaism. "Yerushalmi has written a dazzlingly brilliant book. Reading it is to take an exciting journey through the spaces of mind-an adventure of intellect. This book is an extraordinary achievement, one that will be discussed and debated for many years."-Irving Howe
This article develops an evolutionary theory of conflict over the construction of culture that is informed by current knowledge of psychological mechanisms. Psychological mechanisms important for the production of culture include (1) general intelligence (including the ability to engender hypothetical scenarios and means-end reasoning necessary for constructing tools and other exemplars of technology); (2) explicit processing mechanisms (e.g., symbolic representations of the world). Explicit processing allows humans to regulate modular mechanisms in accordance with culturally constructed norms and culturally constructed cost/benefit payoff schedules. It also enables active attempts to construct culture in accordance with explicit perceptions of possible costs and benefits. Because people have different construals of the costs and benefits of particular forms of culture, there is conflict over the construction of culture. Social controls and ideologies are introduced as general cultural categories that are enabled by explicit processing and which are able to regulate and motivate behavior within particular historical contexts, at times in ways that conflict with evolved predispositions. Ideologies are often intimately intertwined with various social controls but are logically and psychologically independent from social controls. Ideologies typically rationalize extant social controls but they also benefit from the power of social controls to enforce ideological conformity in schools or in religious institutions. Because of the control of explicit processing over behavior, this theory predicts that conflicts over culture will often be intense. Discussion deals with the implications of this model for group selection, cultural transmission, gene-culture co-evolution, and the various types of conflicts of interest apparent in conflicts over the construction of culture.
This volume . . . will chart the changing relationship of psychoanalysis to American psychiatry. It will describe the popularization of psychoanalysis broadly defined, images of Freud and of therapy, and the early impact of psychoanalysis on mental hygiene, social work, and criminology. It also will be concerned with changing concepts of science within medicine and with shifting American attitudes toward sexual morality and behavior. Part I examines the role of World War I in fostering Freud's influence on American psychiatry, the subsequent establishment of psychoanalysis as a profession, and the growth of its clientele from 1917 to 1940. Part II takes up the role of psychoanalysis in World War II, its extraordinary expansion to the mid-1960s, and its transformation by a powerful, popularizing American culture. It then explores reasons for the apparent decline of psychoanalysis in psychiatry to the mid-1980s. These included the rise of a newly successful somatic psychiatry, the identification of psychoanalysis with medicine and evaluations of psychoanalysis based on medicine's changing norms of the scientific. . . . The study focuses chiefly on what has been called "mainstream" psychoanalysis, centering on the American Psychoanalytic Association, for many years the largest and dominant professional body within the psychoanalytic subculture. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The book presents Dr. E. Fuller Torrey's cogent, meticulously researched examination of the negative impact on American thought and culture of Freud's theory that early childhood experiences, particularly those sexual in nature, are crucial determinants for personality development. In recounting the history of Freudian thought in America, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey examines several questions. Most importantly, why did Freud's theory spread so much more widely here than in any other country? How was the nature–nurture controversy essential to this spread? In answering these questions, "Freudian Fraud" also probes the motivations of the well-known figures who have been instrumental in spreading Freudian thought into every corner of our lives, including individuals as diverse as Emma Goldman, Walter Lippman, Karl Menninger, Margaret Mead, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and John Bradshaw. The book closes with an assessment of Freud's theory and its effect on America. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Standard histories of American anthropology have downplayed the preponderance of Jewish intellectuals in the early years of Boasian anthropology and the Jewish identities of later anthropologists. Jewish histories, however, foreground the roles and deeds of Jews. This essay brings together these various discourses for a new generation of American anthropologists, especially those concerned with turning multiculturalist theories into agendas for activism. Although Boas's anthropology was apolitical in terms of theory, in message and purpose it was an antiracist science.
A lack of political diversity in psychology is said to lead to a number of pernicious outcomes, including biased research and active discrimination against conservatives. We surveyed a large number (combined N = 800) of social and personality psychologists and discovered several interesting facts. First, although only 6% described themselves as conservative "overall," there was more diversity of political opinion on economic issues and foreign policy. Second, respondents significantly underestimated the proportion of conservatives among their colleagues. Third, conservatives fear negative consequences of revealing their political beliefs to their colleagues. Finally, they are right to do so: In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists said that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues. The more liberal respondents were, the more they said they would discriminate. © The Author(s) 2012.
Recent experimental findings of subtle forms of prejudice prompted this search for a similar phenomenon outside the laboratory. In Study 1, with a sample of more than 12 000 citations by North American social scientists, names of both citing and cited authors were classified as Jewish, non Jewish, or other Author's name category was associated with 41 per cent greater odds of citing an author from the same name category Study 2 included over 17 000 citations from a much narrower research domain (prejudice research), and found a similar (40 per cent) surplus in odds of citing an author of the author's own ethnic name category. Further analyses failed to support two hypotheses — differential assortment of researchers by ethnicity to research topics, and selective citation of acquaintances' works — that were plausible alternatives to the hypothesis that the observed citation discrimination revealed implicit (unconsciously operating) prejudicial attitudes. Given the sociopolitically liberal reputation of social scientists (and of prejudice researchers especially), it seems unlikely that the observed bias in citations reflected conscious prejudicial attitudes.
Sociology, writes Irving Louis Horowitz, has changed from a central discipline of the social sciences to an ideological outpost of political extremism. As a result, the field is in crisis. Some departments have been shut down, others cut back, research programs have dried up, and the growth of professional organizations and student enrollments have been either curbed or atrophied. In The Decomposition of Sociology, Professor Horowitz, for four decades a leading social scientist, offers a frank and full account of the maelstrom engulfing this field. Horowitz pulls no punches in this provocative volume. He charges that much contemporary sociological theory has degenerated into pure critique, strongly influenced by Marxist dogmatism. Such thinking has a strong element of anti-American and anti-Western bias, in which all questions have one answer--the evil of capitalism--and all problems one solution--the good of socialism. In criminology, for instance, he shows that high crime rates are seen as an expression of capitalist disintegration, and criminal behavior a covert expression of radical action. Indeed, in one area after another, Horowitz shows how this same formulaic thinking dominates the field, resulting in a crude reductionist view of contemporary social life. At a time when the world is moving closer to the free market and democratic norms, he concludes, such reductionist tendencies and ideological posturings are outmoded. Horowitz offers an alternative. He urges a larger vision of the social sciences, one in which universities, granting agencies and research institutes provide an environment in which research may be untainted by partisan agencies--where policy choices will not be hindered by the prevailing cultural climate. He counsels sociologists to move away from blind advocacy, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century by incorporating the knowledge of other times and places, and to take into account the shrinking globe--in short, to develop and maintain a new set of universal standards in this era of a world culture. Here then is an eloquent plea for a revolution in sociology, written by one of the field's foremost figures. It offers as well a cautionary tale about the potentially devastating effect of ideology on scholarly pursuits.
Book synopsis: As the 2000 census resoundingly demonstrated, the Anglo-Protestant ethnic core of the United States has all but dissolved. In a country founded and settled by their ancestors, British Protestants now make up less than a fifth of the population. This demographic shift has spawned a "culture war" within white America. While liberals seek to diversify society toward a cosmopolitan endpoint, some conservatives strive to maintain an American ethno-national identity. Eric Kaufmann traces the roots of this culture war from the rise of WASP America after the Revolution to its fall in the 1960s, when social institutions finally began to reflect the nation’s ethnic composition. Kaufmann begins his account shortly after independence, when white Protestants with an Anglo-Saxon myth of descent established themselves as the dominant American ethnic group. But from the late 1890s to the 1930s, liberal and cosmopolitan ideological currents within white Anglo-Saxon Protestant America mounted a powerful challenge to WASP hegemony. This struggle against ethnic dominance was mounted not by subaltern immigrant groups but by Anglo-Saxon reformers, notably Jane Addams and John Dewey. It gathered social force by the 1920s, struggling against WASP dominance and achieving institutional breakthrough in the late 1960s, when America truly began to integrate ethnic minorities into mainstream culture.
Dennis B. Klein explores the Jewish consciousness of Freud and his followers and the impact of their Jewish self-conceptions on the early psychoanalytic movement. Using little-known sources such as the diaries and papers of Freud's protégé Otto Rank and records of the Vienna B'nai B'rith that document Freud's active participation in that Jewish fraternal society, Klein argues that the feeling of Jewish ethical responsibility, aimed at renewing ties with Germans and with all humanity, stimulated the work of Freud, Rank, and other analysts and constituted the driving force of the psychoanalytic movement.
The Authoritarian Personality, Publication No. III of The American Jewish Committee Social Studies Series
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