krugman on liberal bias in academia

In a comment to this entry, Limadean points to this editorial by Paul Krugman: “An Academic Question.”

Surprisingly, not many bloggers have linked to this piece.

You wanna know why conservatives think there’s a problem in academia and liberals don’t? Here’s a theory:

  • When liberal students’ ideas are challenged by their professors, they respond like this: Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that. Interesting.
  • When conservative students’ ideas are challenged by their professors, they respond like this: Waaaah!

I kid! I kid!

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5 thoughts on “krugman on liberal bias in academia

  1. You kid, but there is a definite truth there. Maybe it’s because conservative students are so into infallibility that they think it applies to their opinions as well…
    Ooo, I sound bitter.

  2. I’m not sure that “liberal” is the right antonym to the complaining conservatives. Radical students, in my experience, are just as likely to complain about views with which they disagree, and to try to silence speakers. But few people take them seriously because of the rightward tilt of American political culture. (I say this writing from France, where the mainstream right resembles left-leaning American democrats.) Complaining conservatives are taken more seriously because they’re closer to the mainstream, who thinks there might just be some grounds for the complaints. That’s my half-baked thought before the caffeine has kicked in, at least.

  3. I think the technorati trace on that link doesn’t show many because the link was generated by the NYTimes Link Generator, which generates a different URL than what you normally get by viewing that page (note the string “rssland”, which always occurs in links generated by this page). It looks like you get another 20 references when using the standard URL. Still not many. I suppose the choir is already converted and isn’t surprised by anything he says.

  4. I think most students on both side of the political divide are willing to consider different ideas and hear different perspectives, even if they don’t like them. However, there are a few from both sides that are unwilling to listen or even consider other ideas. For example, one of my colleagues was teaching a Women and Politics course and some women’s studies majors argued that they shouldn’t have to read Pagilia, because nothing could be learned from understanding that point of view.

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