Liberal indoctrination in universities?

Discussion in 'World News, Current Events & Politics' started by Superbronx, May 9, 2019.

  1. Superbronx
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    Superbronx GBAtemp Regular

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    Just wanted to have a discussion on this topic that I see mentioned occasionally around the internet. My wife does social media, I do not, but I've noticed this topic is touched on from time to time on fb.
    I am not currently enrolled in a school of higher learning (College) and it has been several years since I was on campus so things have probably changed over the years.
    Just thought it would be interesting to get people's points of view on what life is like in Universities today with regard to this subject. Or even if you just want to weigh in with your opinion. Also if members have proof to present that liberal bias does indeed exist or by the same token, proof that it does not exist, feel free to share.

    I myself am concerned that there may actually be some substance to these claims.
     
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  2. tech3475

    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Funnily enough I was recently thinking of an old clip from the TV show ‘That’s Life’ where it was basically the show taking the p*** out of (then) young university students.

    Found the clip although I originally saw it on ‘Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe’:


    I do wonder sometimes how much of the ‘things have changed’ discussions I see are down to the Internet and the media (both large and small) as opposed to society actually changing.
     
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  3. Lucifer666

    Lucifer666 all the world needs is me

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    I'm 20 and at a pretty big uni. There's no "liberal bias", but academic spaces are, generally speaking, more left-leaning.
     
    Last edited by Lucifer666, May 9, 2019
  4. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm not sure there are truly objective universities in the world. It's somewhat subject-related (hard sciences are less about ideology). Every country has a culture and the culture will impact universities.
     
  5. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    It's actually the opposite, it's the students demanding a more liberal atmosphere and (certain) universities are complying. There are also a number of more traditionally conservative colleges/universities, of course. Usually on the affluent side.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, May 13, 2019
  6. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

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    Yes there is, at least in the music program.
     
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  7. Superbronx
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    Superbronx GBAtemp Regular

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    Hmmmm, :unsure:Care to expand on that? What examples have you been exposed to?
     
  8. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

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    Snarky jokes about dead white old men. I.E Beethoven, Stravinsky etc. Very subtle stuff but it is definitely there.
     
  9. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    Any "joke" you can make about a classical composer is just plain dorky/dad-like in the first place. Sounds about as 'politically biased' as a mallard.
     
  10. Superbronx
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    Superbronx GBAtemp Regular

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    During my reading I discovered these statistics from research done in 2010-11.
    Statistics provided by the University of California at Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute.

    They had another chart that gave information on how the numbers had changed since 2008 also but if this is the trend it is definitely unsettling. [​IMG]Keep in mind these numbers are from 2011. Likely they have changed much in 8 years.
     
    Last edited by Superbronx, May 9, 2019
  11. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Why?

    In any case, Universities almost always have been, and probably always will be, more progressive in their tendencies just due to the very nature of their existence (developing new sciences, technology, philosophy, art, etc. and being a large concentration of young people sequestered away from the rest of society). Not sure why anyone would be surprised otherwise.

    "Indoctrination" implies that ideas are expected to be accepted without questioning, which again is kind of the opposite of what happens at University.

    What you probably should be asking is: Why is there such a rise in extremism and fear-mongering in modern day politics (see: this thread)? What has triggered the surge in "us vs. them" mentalities at both the intra- and international levels?
     
  12. Superbronx
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    Superbronx GBAtemp Regular

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    This is an excerpt from an article in Boston magazine :
    "Students are not the only conservatives on campus hiding their political identity in the closet. Several years ago, Jon Shields and Joshua Dunn interviewed 153 conservative professors for their book, Passing on the Right. In it, the duo say that within the context of college campuses, conservatives are a “stigmatized minority” and cite research suggesting that, in many instances, conservative professors are forced to rely on the same “coping strategies that gays and lesbians have used in the military and other inhospitable work environments.”
    To me, this statement suggests that conservatives must hide the fact that they are are conservative if they don't want trouble. Colleges are supposed to be institutions of higher learning and historically they were places where one could freely express themselves and openly discuss any topic. But if you must hide the fact you are conservative it sounds like there's no room for open discussion and dialog. Sounds as though you must accept their viewpoint and echo it or fake your way through college to earn your degree. :unsure:
     
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  13. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    Oh, god forbid someone disagrees with them, that type of "trouble" would be the end of the world! :rolleyes:
     
  14. notimp

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    This is how this works. This is how this is supposed to work.

    Universities are the places in society, where people think about existing concepts, how they work, how they could be better, and how to innovate new ones. And they do it without the confines of "I wonder how my boss thinks about it" and without "whats good for the company".

    Liberal also means, more into the notion of the importance of the individual, and into big world changing ideas...

    If you are going to university, because "you want things to be the same, as before you got there", what are you doing at a university? Getting a diploma? ;)

    I can ensure you though, that those values shift over time, as they get older and get kids and at age 40, people tend to think differently and curse out everything that isnt as it was, when they were younger. ;)

    This statistic, is kind of the way it always was, and always will be. Because, well - dah...

    (Just look up a history of student protests, and what they were protesting for.)

    That you even have people hiding their "political identity" - also speaks to this being the environment. They ususally shouldnt have to though - there are always fractions, and drinking clubs around that cater to every political orientation. I'd be more worried about that (hiding their political orientation), than about a statistic that says, that more than half of all students have a liberal political orientation. Because - of course they have - on average.

    Its like complaining in a bank tellers meeting, that most of them will be conservative.

    Its the similar "what came first" issue that you guys have with tha media. Media has a liberal bias. Well of course it has. Any worthwile conservative aspiring student goes either into studying business, law, ... Certainly not journalism. They are not interested in a mediocre life, trying to glance at issues, trying to find sources and proof, while writing about bigger societal issues. Some of them might be interested in "being center stage" at TV outlets, some might be into getting close with the management circle of interesting companies - but those could have gone into more 'conservative' career paths to begin with.
     
    Last edited by notimp, May 9, 2019
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  15. cherryduck

    cherryduck GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm in the UK where I went to university about 10 years ago, I know some people over here think there's some leftie brainwashing conspiracy but I'll tell you my experience doesn't back that up at all.

    Nobody tried to brainwash me or change my political leaning at all. In fact politics barely came up, certainly not from my professors, only ever from students, and mostly people preferred not to get into politics. Many young people aren't interested in politics at all, even if they should be. I spent most of my time at uni either learning or drinking. That said, I did start uni as a right leaning chap and left it leaning more to the left.

    How did this happen? Quite simply because I met a diverse range of people from various different backgrounds. My world view was expanded. I couldn't keep hold of my preconceived notions around wealth, race or sexuality, when those notions were shattered every day by the people I met. I started out from a fairly privileged position with very traditional viewpoints, but experience showed me that many of my traditional viewpoints didn't match up with the reality I saw.
     
  16. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Addict

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    I'm now presenting you with a direct quote from fefe - a left leaning liberal programmer type, that also runs one of the premier (by viewer numbers) german blogs, and frequently gets attacked by pretty much everyone - because his views also are kind of "out there". But to me - at least titillating. :) The quote was published today - I literally just read it.

    Also on tech stuff he knows what he is talking about. Most of the time. More often than I do. :)

    "There is a lot of talk about how Youtube Auto-Play leads people into 'the swamp.' But from my perspective, it is the larger issue that it is not easy at all to get out of it in principal. The article at least shows, that parents themselves dont have much to offer apart from "all that isnt true!!1!!". They are themselves all but caught in a postmodern 'Swamp', where it wasnt beneficial or interesting for them to look at the arguments of the other side. When their son then comes along with "the wage-gap is a lie" and "feminists keep divorced dads from seeing their kids", then the only thing that follows are emotions like, outrage, indignation, distress, not arguments. Ok, in the case of Wage-Gap, thats actually a 'lie', the way it is commonly presented [background: Meaning, that you dont factor in workhours for the more outrageous statistical presentations. Also the blogger kind of has a bit of an ongoing quarrel with the outer fringes of feminist groups, with the two of course butting heads on the internets, read this with that context]. And that after divorces mothers get the right to care for children more frequently, factually also cant be denied.

    And so we are currently finding ourselves in a world where two residents of different swamps, accuse each other of living in the wrong swamp to begin with."
    src: http://blog.fefe.de/?ts=a22d6c09

    This is why forums like this one actually are something I really like - because I get to come in contact with some of the more 'out there' opinions of the other side.

    And I can ponder about more outrageous stuff here as well, that I've still not fully conceptualized, but that has me miffed.

    As long as people understand, that no one opinion will present them with the whole image - and that listening to other political sides is something thats sometimes actually worthwile you already are many steps ahead of the curve, of most people just seeing politics as sort of a club you belong to.

    It shouldnt be that. That, btw is also why I'm more worried, that people are now apparently starting to hide their political orientation, while engaging with others on campus, because of felt or imagined repercussions. If thats the case, we've lost freedom of thought/expression, with is essential for those institutions (universities) to function properly.
     
    Last edited by notimp, May 10, 2019
  17. emigre

    emigre An electric type pokemons

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    There's no indoctrination. There's typically always been a liberal bias for those in academia and has been for many years and in a lot of ways, it's the nature of the beast. To describe it as indoctrination is an insult to academics as most are very open about their particular viewpoints and to students as some sort of mindless robots. I recall one being very critical of the British Empire. As universities seem to 'progressive' insitutions, I don't think it's a surprise to see Conservative views to be a minority. For reference, I left University seven years ago.

    It's a complaint also found in teaching where Conservatives like to berate teachers for having left-wing biases, they don't seem to realise these type of sectors attract people with liberal left wing perspectives in the world. I recall some of my former teachers (and my own sister who's a teacher) and many of them had views which generally was on the left and got into teaching because wanted to make a positive difference, some even got entrenched during the Thatcher government. This is not to say Right-wing=bad, left-wing=good as a rule, but from my anecdotal experience, this is what happens and I imagine quite a few people would share similar to me.

    So yeah, no indoctrination just pretty open biases.
     
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  18. Taleweaver

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    There's a truth that right leaning people do their best to deny :

    Many right wing ideas are retarded.


    I'm not saying participants of the ideology are all idiots, but discussions always strand on "because it is", "it's just like that" or "is only logical". Therefore, I always envision leftists as being the students who become first filled with doubt, but in the end, end up in wisdom because the knowledge that remains is solid enough.
    Meanwhile, rightist sit at bars and hold discussions over beers based on perception rather than study. They learn that talking loud and talk down others can pass for winning arguments (heck... You can even become president that way), but end up bitter because science favors actual knowledge rather than rhetoric.

    Result : sure, schools are dominated by the left. Not because they're 'indoctrinating', but because the right loves to stigmatise the left to mask their own lack of progress.


    ... And I get the feeling that some will think I'm attacking them personally. I don't. As I'm writing, I'm thinking of those ideas like xenophobism, denial of the evolution theory and similar dumb ideas. If that fits you... Good for you. But please : don't get personal, okay? (I don't like being proven right in this way)
     
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  19. notimp

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    Weeeell... ;)

    Not as clear cut as you'd like to. ;) Sponsorships, study grants, professors that want to proof their theories, to advance careers... What science has going for it, is that it has a toolset to refute and dissect such attempts. So in the end the better model/theory should aways prevail, ... But:


    Just as an example. ;) Social studies, of course. :) But there is bogus math out there as well, just for the sake of using math, because its a prerequisite to get published somewhere... Thats just me saying, that there are always people gaming any system. :)
     
    Last edited by notimp, May 10, 2019
  20. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    It's harsh, but you're spot on. At least in the US, the only things the modern right-wing has going for it are anti-intellectualism and contrarianism. They long ago gave up pretending that they have any ideas of their own. Whenever you hear Trump speak about "his ideas," it's always, "whatever Obama did, but BETTER!" ...And it ultimately turns out much worse.

    But I digress. People attend universities to learn and absorb information, not block it out and belittle others for possessing knowledge. Thus it's not surprising that the majority of college students trend in the direction of liberal.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, May 10, 2019
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