Society/Culture The Grievance Studies Hoax - 'Applied Postmodernism' in Scholarship and Higher Education

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Norm Smith Medallist
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The most dangerous thing to escape from Unis in the last 100 years was Fred Hayek, Uncle Milty and the Chicago Boys - who built the ideological foundations of the GFC - which has in turn lead to austerity politics and the consequent turn to nationalism
Errr, there’s something else that was (and still is) studied at university that is responsible for around 50 million deaths in the 20th century alone.
 

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"Studied" is one way of putting it. "Force-fed" or ""indoctrinated" more accurate!
Lol.

But it’s weird decrying neoliberalism for laying the foundations of new nationalism. Yes, the fruits of globalist capitalism is a wish for the return of restricted immigration and secure, well paying jobs that existed before offshoring and mass immigration that is the preferred mode of labour arbitration by neoliberals. That is, the nationalism that existed before Milton Friedman and the Chicago boys got their hands on it. But that pre-70s nationalism is now tarred as fascist.
 

JP2

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Gee, for a group of people worried about the integrity of science, there sure are a lot of people in here who don't understand that anecdotes are not data.

In this thread we have a story about how one obscure college in the US got over-run by "applied post-modernism" (whatever that means), one member of the American Humanist Association saying we should be respectful to LGBTQ people at pride events, and one consultant saying that teachers should focus on African American kids more than white kids. Even if we can agree that all of these are bad and misinformed positions, it scarcely augurs the death of science and reason in the public space, does it?

If you're concerned about children being inculcated with ideology rather than the good old-fashioned Enlightenment values of reason and science, maybe you should be focusing more on religious education, and the kind of special dispensations religious institutions get to propagate nonsense to children. In the US case, you appear to be worried about a small college (with a student base of 3,000) being overrun by post-modern ideologues, and the negative effects this might have on academic integrity, but your attention might be better focused on Liberty University (with a student base of 110,000) where they teach creation science, where every student is required to assent to a doctrinal creed which excludes everyone who is not an Evangelical Christian, and where they recently unveiled a stained-glass window of Donald Trump. The average denominational Christian school in Australia is obviously not likely to be so doctrinaire, but they're so prevalent that it'd be naive to think it wouldn't make a difference to the intellectual climate of the nation. Is the average student at a Catholic school likely to get a well-rounded overview of liberal politics or of world religions, for example?

Yes, we should all be concerned about ideology infiltrating places of learning, and we should all be concerned about students having access to a well-rounded, academically rigorous education. But the focus in this thread (and others) only on particular types of ideological bias (specifically, quote-unquote, "left-wing" and "post-modern" ones) tells me that the concern is not coming from a place of good faith, and is motivated more by the prosecution of ideological grievences than it is about concern for the integrity of education tout court.
 

ShanDog

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one member of the American Humanist Association saying we should be respectful to LGBTQ people at pride events
Yeah, see, you wrote that, and it's such a misrepresentation of what the post actually was, that I simply won't read the rest of what you've written as it will not doubt be bad faith rubbish.
 

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Yeah, see, you wrote that, and it's such a misrepresentation of what the post actually was, that I simply won't read the rest of what you've written as it will not doubt be bad faith rubbish.
I thought some of JP2's points were alright and worthy of consideration. There are certainly some high profile examples of people being de-platformed, prevented from speaking, losing their jobs, public shaming, etc. because of actions from people on the extreme left (and in some cases supported tacitly by the moderate left). E.g., I thought Ezra Klein did a hatchet job on Sam Harris. There are also some topics that are difficult to study or comment on without some people immediately jumping to conclusions or others rushing to build 'straw-men' or otherwise misrepresent views disingenuously (e.g., the Bell Curve guy). Many of the people that have been affected seem to have gravitated toward the so-called 'intellectual dark web'.

There have been a lot of changes in the HE sector in the last decade and a bit. Some of them are for the better (e.g., still a long way to go but campus is probably a lot safer now for women than it ever has been). But many changes have been for the worse. The neo-liberalisation/corporatisation of the sector has led, ironically, to a lot of waste and inefficiency (check out the book "BullSh*t Jobs: A Theory" by Dave Graeber if you are tired of being in a bureaucracy; or TL;DR: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/25/********-jobs-a-theory-by-david-graeber-review).
Admin sizes and salaries have skyrocketed, investments are constantly made into playing games to move up all these inane ranking lists, pointless branding then rebranding then rebranding again, advertising (WhyTF are our footy stadia named after universities?!), focusing on PR. It's easy to see how those latter changes will lead to students feeling like customers, and thus entitled to be happy/safe no matter the situation, hence madness like what you see in the video.

But, what's still missing from all of this is some sort of reliable data which can tell us whether this is a 'real' trend, or just a case where modern technology has allowed those who have been affected to find a new platform of their own. Until some real data come out it'll be hard to convince me that this is a more general societal problem beyond the odd anecdote.

FWIW, I identify as a lefty. Though I have had a go at the left in this post, the right certainly have not got the moral high ground here; instead of de-platforming people, they just build echo chambers for themselves and do their very best to stay in them (e.g., Fox News, Sky news, shut down the ABC). Many of the right are perfectly happy with letting children / uni students be indoctrinated; just as long as it is their ideology (e.g., Ramsay centre).
 

ShanDog

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I thought some of JP2's points were alright and worthy of consideration. There are certainly some high profile examples of people being de-platformed, prevented from speaking, losing their jobs, public shaming, etc. because of actions from people on the extreme left (and in some cases supported tacitly by the moderate left). E.g., I thought Ezra Klein did a hatchet job on Sam Harris. There are also some topics that are difficult to study or comment on without some people immediately jumping to conclusions or others rushing to build 'straw-men' or otherwise misrepresent views disingenuously (e.g., the Bell Curve guy). Many of the people that have been affected seem to have gravitated toward the so-called 'intellectual dark web'.

There have been a lot of changes in the HE sector in the last decade and a bit. Some of them are for the better (e.g., still a long way to go but campus is probably a lot safer now for women than it ever has been). But many changes have been for the worse. The neo-liberalisation/corporatisation of the sector has led, ironically, to a lot of waste and inefficiency (check out the book "BullSh*t Jobs: A Theory" by Dave Graeber if you are tired of being in a bureaucracy; or TL;DR: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/25/********-jobs-a-theory-by-david-graeber-review).
Admin sizes and salaries have skyrocketed, investments are constantly made into playing games to move up all these inane ranking lists, pointless branding then rebranding then rebranding again, advertising (WhyTF are our footy stadia named after universities?!), focusing on PR. It's easy to see how those latter changes will lead to students feeling like customers, and thus entitled to be happy/safe no matter the situation, hence madness like what you see in the video.

But, what's still missing from all of this is some sort of reliable data which can tell us whether this is a 'real' trend, or just a case where modern technology has allowed those who have been affected to find a new platform of their own. Until some real data come out it'll be hard to convince me that this is a more general societal problem beyond the odd anecdote.

FWIW, I identify as a lefty. Though I have had a go at the left in this post, the right certainly have not got the moral high ground here; instead of de-platforming people, they just build echo chambers for themselves and do their very best to stay in them (e.g., Fox News, Sky news, shut down the ABC). Many of the right are perfectly happy with letting children / uni students be indoctrinated; just as long as it is their ideology (e.g., Ramsay centre).
Ok, I'll read through the remainder of RP2's post and respond.

There's a very real problem with the admin bloat in universities. At least, there is in the USA where I have seen data on how much it's changed - I'm not sure about here. The problems identified by the grievance studies hoax, and by numerous other academics and thinkers is that these ideas are embedded in pockets of universities and academia. This is the same way that many good progressive movements have happened and why society today is so very different to 60 years ago (hell, even just one generation ago). I'm fairly socially progressive but have no problem calling out rubbish when I see it, and there is a problem. It is largely localised to the US, but it's a globalised world and those problems become problems in many other places in the West relatively quickly. I don't know if it's a passing phase or if it will continue to snowball; the latter is why it matters.

Thanks for the book recommendation - I have just finished the Coddling of the American Mind which talks about the problems in higher education in the US at the moment. I highly recommend it and not just for that aspect but the many social and political ideas it discusses.

A quick footnote to your last point - on Twitter (a politically-charged magnifying glass, really), Jack Dorsey publicly discussed how their analytics suggested that it was left wing users who created an echo chamber for themselves. Conservatives tended to follow people with opposing views (can't remember the %) but left wing users effectively didn't at all. I believe that's changing though, which is a good thing.
 

eastfreo75

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Gee, for a group of people worried about the integrity of science, there sure are a lot of people in here who don't understand that anecdotes are not data.

In this thread we have a story about how one obscure college in the US got over-run by "applied post-modernism" (whatever that means), one member of the American Humanist Association saying we should be respectful to LGBTQ people at pride events, and one consultant saying that teachers should focus on African American kids more than white kids. Even if we can agree that all of these are bad and misinformed positions, it scarcely augurs the death of science and reason in the public space, does it?

If you're concerned about children being inculcated with ideology rather than the good old-fashioned Enlightenment values of reason and science, maybe you should be focusing more on religious education, and the kind of special dispensations religious institutions get to propagate nonsense to children. In the US case, you appear to be worried about a small college (with a student base of 3,000) being overrun by post-modern ideologues, and the negative effects this might have on academic integrity, but your attention might be better focused on Liberty University (with a student base of 110,000) where they teach creation science, where every student is required to assent to a doctrinal creed which excludes everyone who is not an Evangelical Christian, and where they recently unveiled a stained-glass window of Donald Trump. The average denominational Christian school in Australia is obviously not likely to be so doctrinaire, but they're so prevalent that it'd be naive to think it wouldn't make a difference to the intellectual climate of the nation. Is the average student at a Catholic school likely to get a well-rounded overview of liberal politics or of world religions, for example?

Yes, we should all be concerned about ideology infiltrating places of learning, and we should all be concerned about students having access to a well-rounded, academically rigorous education. But the focus in this thread (and others) only on particular types of ideological bias (specifically, quote-unquote, "left-wing" and "post-modern" ones) tells me that the concern is not coming from a place of good faith, and is motivated more by the prosecution of ideological grievences than it is about concern for the integrity of education tout court.[/
Indoctrination at any level isn’t good, either at the early child school level or at PHD studies.

Either should be a concern. But most of the time the concern is against the other team’s indoctrination.

Yes, their are studies into the political views of university lecturers. All of the studies point to the fact that universities are getting more hard left.

Also, I think you are missing the point. Human rights is a good thing but when people are so offended by dialogue it’s a real problem.

Yes, that occurs in religious circles but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening at the university level.

The hard left want to ban dialogue especially on gender issues. If you hold a view that you can’t changed your biology like I do and discuss it, then I am damaging people.

To shut down dialogue is dangerous on some many levels. As you pointed it out, that occurs at Religious schools as well.
 

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ShanDog

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Nup, sorry, tried to read RP2's post but it's legitimately just two paragraph of spurious reframing of the examples shown in this thread (insert Iraqi foreign minister / burning house dog gifs), downplaying the significance of the Evergreen example by rationalising away the numbers and pointing to something else instead. And then we find out why in paragraph 3.

Deflections & mistruths, rooted in political partisanship. It's weak and pathetic. And he has the temerity to accuse others of bad faith! Haha!
 

Patrick Bullet

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Nup, sorry, tried to read RP2's post but it's legitimately just two paragraph of spurious reframing of the examples shown in this thread (insert Iraqi foreign minister / burning house dog gifs), downplaying the significance of the Evergreen example by rationalising away the numbers and pointing to something else instead. And then we find out why in paragraph 3.

Deflections & mistruths, rooted in political partisanship. It's weak and pathetic. And he has the temerity to accuse others of bad faith! Haha!
Hehe no worries, you tried and that's all I can ask for! Thanks for your reply to me. I'll reply back in a couple days. Got a DnD session after work tonight so can't do today.
 

Contra Mundum

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Errr, there’s something else that was (and still is) studied at university that is responsible for around 50 million deaths in the 20th century alone.
Oh I see - so the History of the Soviet Union is always painted in a positive light is it. At Melb University you can still study the Industrial revolution, the Stoics, the poetics of Shakespeare, the Wars of Napoleon (all curricula that was there in the fifties) there is even a subject in the history department "Edmund Burke and his historical context". The bulls**t allegation that everything is taught in a post modern context is utter bulls**t - 90 percent of the curriculum is taught in the modernist way - narratives complete with the myth that we are moving towards progress. Personally, I don't believe in progress anymore - we have theoretically illiterate morons on footy forums aping stuff they have heard Ben Shapiro say or furiously cherry picking to hide their pathological masturbatory love for current heirachies and economic arrangements - facts about what is currently taught don't care about your feelings

As for your claims about Marxist Theory. Karl baby died and wrote 100 years before the regimes of which you speak. What do you propose perhaps a Fatwa against people that teach it? or a perhaps a flat out ban? - what about Kautsky and the Austro Marxists or the Mensheviks - They never killed anyone... or the Marx Club - you know George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb - the people who founded the London School of Economics? Those English Fabians were famous for their gulags and ******* pograms

See if you actually read what are called "cultural marxists" you will understand that that is Marxism at its most impotent - the Frankfurt School, and the cultural theorists are at universities talking about the semiotics of Nick Cave's hair - but somehow they threaten people more than the Market Leninists who have stuffed the world, For example, the deregulation frenzy in US Banking was championed by Allan Greenspan, the Head of the Fed - a one time sexual partner and active acolyte of Ayn Rand - now if you ask me - he has done more damage to the world than some POMOFOCO professor could ever do - but hey its all about culture
 
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Contra Mundum

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To some extent that's true, but it has also been polluted by impostors looking to gain credibility by false association.
Case studies with statistically insignificant sample sizes have f’ed it for everyone. Some of the s**t in the Harvard Business Review is like the Mungbean Journal of Crystallography these days. Also there is a bit of a hang over from Victorian times when everything was called a science - like Eugenics and the works of Freud.
 

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Oh I see - so the History of the Soviet Union is always painted in a positive light is it. At Melb University you can still study the Industrial revolution, the Stoics, the poetics of Shakespeare, the Wars of Napoleon (all curricula that was there in the fifties) there is even a subject in the history department "Edmund Burke and his historical context". The ******** allegation that everything is taught in a post modern context is utter ******** - 90 percent of the curriculum is taught in the modernist way - narratives complete with the myth that we are moving towards progress. Personally, I don't believe in progress anymore - we have theoretically illiterate morons on footy forums aping stuff they have heard Ben Shapiro say or furiously cherry picking to hide their pathological masturbatory love for current heirachies and economic arrangements - facts about what is currently taught don't care about your feelings

As for your claims about Marxist Theory. Karl baby died and wrote 100 years before the regimes of which you speak. What do you propose perhaps a Fatwa against people that teach it? or a perhaps a flat out ban? - what about Kautsky and the Austro Marxists or the Mensheviks - They never killed anyone... or the Marx Club - you know George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb - the people who founded the London School of Economics? Those English Fabians were famous for their gulags and ******* pograms

See if you actually read what are called "cultural marxists" you will understand that that is Marxism at its most impotent - the Frankfurt School, and the cultural theorists are at universities talking about the semiotics of Nick Cave's hair - but somehow they threaten people more than the Market Leninists who have stuffed the world, For example, the deregulation frenzy in US Banking was championed by Allan Greenspan, the Head of the Fed - a one time sexual partner and active acolyte of Ayn Rand - now if you ask me - he has done more damage to the world than some POMOFOCO professor could ever do - but hey its all about culture
It would take quite the pessimist to look around at the world and think there's no progress being made.

It was a good rant, don't get me wrong, but you've got the scope wrong. The issues in the humanities in some areas of academia and universities are real. They aren't the catalyst for the End Times, but neither does that make it fine to ignore.

I have a degree majoring in the very subset of what the grievance studies hoax targeted, so it's not as if I don't have skin in the game here. It's a problem and I wanted it sorted before my piece of paper loses all credibility (lol as if it was valuable anyway...)
 

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Another serious flaw in the image of the Fabian Society was caused by its support of the pseudo-science of eugenics. In the early 1900s a few prominent members of the Society, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, as well as Shaw and Wells, advocated the ideal of a scientifically planned socialist society and supported a eugenic approach to social policy. Devised by Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton (1822-1911), eugenics aimed to replace natural selection with a planned and deliberate selection of human species. In tune with degeneration theory, which gained popularity at the turn of the nineteenth century, Sidney Webb lamented in his pamphlet The Decline in the Birth Rate (1907) that Britain is gradually falling to the Irish Roman Catholics and the Jews because the upper classes were reluctant to procreate.​
What a lion of the movement, Contra Mundum. It’s the alt-right demographic replacement theory!
 

Contra Mundum

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fties) there is even a subject in the history department "Edmund Burke and his historical context". The ******** allegation that everything is taught in a post modern context is utter ******** - 90 percent of the curriculum is taught in the modernist way - narratives complete with the myth that we are moving towards progress. Personally, I don't believe in progress anymore - we have theoretically illiterate morons on footy forums aping stuff they have heard Ben Shapiro say or furiously cherry picking to hide their pathological masturbatory love for current heirachies and economic arrangements - facts about what is currently taught don't care about your feelings
They were ardent eugenicists, yes.
It was a "science" back then mate - the US was the inventor of racial hygiene. Have a read of this - very enlightening reading but I am sure you won't be condemning the land of the free and the home of the brave: https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10925.html

Also nice misdirection! I have pointed out to you that their is some Marxist Theorising that did not end in deaths and you give me a ******* lecture on Eugenics!!!! https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/16/us/eugenics-craze-america-pbs/index.html

What is next your a going to point at your hand and pull a ******* 50 cent piece from behind my ear
 
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Contra Mundum

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Another serious flaw in the image of the Fabian Society was caused by its support of the pseudo-science of eugenics. In the early 1900s a few prominent members of the Society, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, as well as Shaw and Wells, advocated the ideal of a scientifically planned socialist society and supported a eugenic approach to social policy. Devised by Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton (1822-1911), eugenics aimed to replace natural selection with a planned and deliberate selection of human species. In tune with degeneration theory, which gained popularity at the turn of the nineteenth century, Sidney Webb lamented in his pamphlet The Decline in the Birth Rate (1907) that Britain is gradually falling to the Irish Roman Catholics and the Jews because the upper classes were reluctant to procreate.​
What a lion of the movement, Contra Mundum. It’s the alt-right demographic replacement theory!
https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10925.html - they used to have competitions at County Fairs for the best examples of race science. that is a bulls**t argument. The land of the free was a ******* democrary too!

In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.
 

Contra Mundum

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It would take quite the pessimist to look around at the world and think there's no progress being made.

It was a good rant, don't get me wrong, but you've got the scope wrong. The issues in the humanities in some areas of academia and universities are real. They aren't the catalyst for the End Times, but neither does that make it fine to ignore.

I have a degree majoring in the very subset of what the grievance studies hoax targeted, so it's not as if I don't have skin in the game here. It's a problem and I wanted it sorted before my piece of paper loses all credibility (lol as if it was valuable anyway...)
That is a matter of choice. You can do a straight up and down history degree, or a language and never come across it. If you are going to do a philosophy degree you could avoid POMO altogether
 
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