Recently a blog titled “Ideas and Data” posted a very interesting and important article by an anonymous blogger, “The Jewish Question: An Empirical Examination.” I’ll have more to say about this blog in the future, but here I discuss a study on Jewish academic influence that I was unaware of.
This is the video version:
First, some introductory material from my paper, “Why Are Professors Liberals?.”
Gross and Fosse point out that it was during the 1960s when universities became strongly associated with the political left in the eyes of friends and foes alike — enough to result in self-selection processes in which conservatives would feel unwelcome in the university:
Higher education was a crucial micromobilization context for a number of left social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, which further enhanced the institution’s liberal reputation; with concerted cultural efforts by American conservatives, especially from the 1950s on, to build a collective identity for their movement around differentiation from various categories of “liberal elites,” not least liberal professors; with restricted opportunities for Americans on the far left to enter other institutional spheres; and with self-reinforcing processes by which selfselection into the academic profession by liberals resulted in a more liberal professoriate whose reputation for liberalism was thereby maintained or enhanced. (pp. 158–159)
Further, because elite universities attempt to most represent the zeitgeist of the field, Gross and Fosse point out they will offer positions to scholars they see as exemplary; political attitudes are a major part of being exemplary. As noted above, Inbar and Lammers (2012) found that many liberal academics openly acknowledge that they would discriminate against a conservative job candidate. This rigorous policing of the attitudes of professors at elite institutions in turn leads to elite institutions being to the left of lesser institutions. In the academic hierarchy, the result is that graduate students coming from elite institutions are most representative of the leftist academic culture, either because of their socialization in the academic environment or simply because of self-interest as a member of a group (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, homosexuals) whose interests are championed by the left. This becomes progressively diluted as one goes to the second- and third-tier schools and eventually down to K–12 education. The result is a liberal social environment at all levels of the educational system which in turn has measurable effects on student attitudes. Public opinion surveys carried out since the 1960s show that going to college results in attitude change in a liberal direction compared to parents. If education level remained the same, there was little change in attitudes (Kaufmann, 2004, p. 191).
Thus, academia is a top-down system in which the highest levels are rigorously policed to ensure liberal ideological conformity. Read more