Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship

Dec 2013
33,449
19,262
Beware of watermelons
#1
This essay, although hopefully accessible to everyone, is the most thorough breakdown of the study and written for those who are already somewhat familiar with the problems of ideologically-motivated scholarship, radical skepticism and cultural constructivism.

Part I: Introduction

Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities. Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem.


We spent that time writing academic papers and publishing them in respected peer-reviewed journals associated with fields of scholarship loosely known as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” (for example, gender studies) or “critical theory” because it is rooted in that postmodern brand of “theory” which arose in the late sixties. As a result of this work, we have come to call these fields “grievance studies” in shorthand because of their common goal of problematizing aspects of culture in minute detail in order to attempt diagnoses of power imbalances and oppression rooted in identity.


Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship - Areo
 
Likes: xMathFanx
Dec 2013
33,449
19,262
Beware of watermelons
#2
We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research. Because open, good-faith conversation around topics of identity such as gender, race, and sexuality (and the scholarship that works with them) is nearly impossible, our aim has been to reboot these conversations. We hope this will give people—especially those who believe in liberalism, progress, modernity, open inquiry, and social justice—a clear reason to look at the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left and say, “No, I will not go along with that. You do not speak for me.”

This document is a first look at our project and an initial attempt to grapple with what we’re learning and what it means. Because of its length and detail, it is organized as follows, putting the factual information up front and more detailed explanations thereafter.

Our methodology, which is central to contextualizing our claims;
A summary of this project from its beginning until we were eventually exposed and forced to go public before we could conclude our research;
An explanation of why we did this;
A summary of the problem and why it matters;
A clear explanation of how this project came to be;
The results of our study, including a full list of all of the papers we submitted, their final outcomes, and relevant reviewer comments to date;
A discussion of the significance of the results;
A summary of what may come next


Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship - Areo
 
Dec 2017
1,704
837
USA
#5
I would recommend to young people interested in most (not all--due to resources available) academics fields to, instead of going the formal route, a possible alternative is to go to Community College, attain a degree that makes $50,000-$60,000 a year, work for a bit, save up and become a landlord, keep going till you have enough passive income, that you have all the time in the world to explore your research interests independently, attain a Masters Degree in the area one is interested in (rather than the PhD to post-doc to faculty position route, which is a approximately 15 year mission, just to become (nearly entirely) controlled by the thoughts, program of the University and department you would be in), and then independently submit work to journals, write books, share ideas using the internet independently/freely, etc. etc. You don't need the Universities to submit academic work anymore, although you do need some established credibility to get passed the gatekeepers. In fact, they will make sure to stifle anyone's ideas that go against the grain, which is completely opposite to the claimed purpose of the pursuit of knowledge. If you are an independent voice, which is very easy to do now-a-days, nobody can "shut you up"--no matter how much they want to or try.
 
Dec 2017
1,704
837
USA
#6
Cliff-Notes:

Universities are trying to control you with their money, resources, and reputation, all of which you no longer need for most fields.
 
Likes: Sabcat
Dec 2017
1,704
837
USA
#7
Additionally, as an example, consider Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History" podcast. All he needed was to get a Undergraduate degree in History to establish credibility, and now has full intellectual freedom to pursue any research topic he desires, rather than having a Puppet Master. If a person actually puts in the work (research) and then has good ideas, people are going to take notice.
 
Dec 2017
1,704
837
USA
#8
To add to this discussion, it should be noted that Mathematics & the Sciences are really the same way. That is, when people leave High School (or GED, or whatever), they know how to (generally) speak, read, and listen to the English language--and thus are able to explore various works, theories, ideas, etc. etc. across the entire scope of available material. Then, the standard person has the option available to them to choose this book or that, this newspaper or that, this podcast or a separate one, etc. Just as when a person walks into Barnes & Noble and there are books from various camps, often with flimsy evidence, poor arguments made, questionable research methodology, unsound conclusions, bias, plain too dumb for words, or, conversely brilliance and eloquence--the exact same holds true in Mathematics & the Sciences. See, most people (generally) have very fragile egos, so they hype up the "prestige" of their field & corresponding work, just as Humanities Professors (and such) tend to do over the public, and Math & Sciences have received a more privileged place in this regard simply because less people have fluency in the language. The average person sees Greek (unreadable) letters rather than "English" when looking at a Physics paper, or Math, Biology, Neuroscience, etc. etc.--so it all must be very "technical", "advanced", "respectable", etc.--right? Wrong. Chinese looks very "technical" and "advanced" to an English speaking person--if you were born into that culture. Now, if you come across it later in life, or have to learn it later in life, that it will certainly have a steeper learning curve before being able to understand what is going on around you. When you hear people such as Richard Feynman, Neil Tyson, Brian Greene, and many others say that "there are a lot of "dumb" Physicists, Scientists, etc. with published work that is (nearly) incomprehensibly stupid", they are not joking, at all. It is exactly like History, Literature, etc. etc. Now, of course, just like in the Humanities, there is also excellent, exceptional work, however it should be understood (as it is often not) that once one has or approaches fluency in the language of the Sciences (like English), it is exactly like walking into a Barnes & Noble and going to the "History" section, or even "Politics".