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Compromising Scholarship

Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education

George Yancey

Publication Year: 2011

Conservative and liberal commentators alike have long argued that social bias exists in American higher education. Yet those arguments have largely lacked much supporting evidence. In this first systematic attempt to substantiate social bias in higher education, George Yancey embarks on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the social biases and attitudes of faculties in American universities—surveying professors in disciplines from political science to experimental biology and then examining the blogs of 42 sociology professors. In so doing, Yancey finds that politically—and, even more so, religiously—conservative academics are at a distinct disadvantage in our institutions of learning, threatening the free exchange of ideas to which our institutions aspire and leaving many scientific inquiries unexplored.

Published by: Baylor University Press


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Table of Contents

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pp. viii-ix

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. x-xiii

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pp. xiv-xv

In many ways this book is a return to important issues that originally attracted me to academia. My dissertation was based upon an exploration of the social backgrounds that sociologists tend to share, and I made the argument that those circumstances help to shape the social biases in the field. Soon after finishing my dissertation, a series of events led me into research on interracial families and then to multiracial churches and racial identity. ...

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1 Introduction

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pp. 1-24

On May 1, 2009, U.S. District Judge James Selna issued a ruling that James Corbett violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment when he called creationism “superstitious nonsense” during a high school history lecture. The lawsuit cited more than plaintiff Chad Farnan, favored “irreligion over religion.” However, ...

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2 Historical and Social Bias within Academia

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pp. 25-48

I remember a time when my image of scientists was that of old white men with grey hair that spent all their time in the laboratory. I guess today we would call them nerds. It was also my perception that these men were only interested in the truth, and that as such, they were open to any possible findings of their research. Since then, I have obviously come to realize how wrong I was with my assumptions about scientists’ age, race, and sex. ...

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3 With Whom Do Sociologists Want to Work?

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pp. 49-84

Exploring bias within the discipline of sociology will allow me to assess whether there are certain dynamics that facilitate or limit the emergence of social biases and intolerance that may be generalized to other academic disciplines. Once I have investigated the general trends in sociology, I will then consider whether those trends hold up in other scientific fields. If they do, it is possible to extrapolate some of the nuanced findings from my in-depth study of a single discipline to the other scholarly fields. ...

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4 Qualitative Explorations of Biases among Sociologists

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pp. 85-112

The work in the previous chapter documents that fundamentalists, evangelicals, and Republicans face negative biases from some sociologists. But quantitative analysis cannot illustrate the nature of such bias, nor can it speculate about possible sources of this disfavor. To explore these issues, it is important to assess what sociologists say in ...

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5 Tolerance and Bias in Other Academic Disciplines

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pp. 113-138

Focusing on the discipline of sociology has allowed me to dig deeply into the contours of social toleration in one particular field. But it is important also to see if we can generalize what we now know about sociologists to other academics. For this reason, there is great value in exploring the tolerance of social groups among non-sociologists. ...

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6 Social Bias and the Nature of Scientific Inquiry

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pp. 139-166

Academics, like members of other occupational subcultures, have social biases that can shape their outlook and the work they do. This our social biases. It is theoretically possible to have social biases and not allow them to shape our social actions, but most individuals are not able to accomplish that task. As this research suggests ...

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7 What Can Be Done to Deal with Social Bias in Academia

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pp. 167-184

I have conducted this work because of my love for scientific thinking and my desire to support it. I have been dismayed by the results of this work, but unfortunately I have not been surprised by them. My experiences, and conversations I have had with other scholars, have confirmed that certain individuals are not encouraged to engage ...


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pp. 185-208

Supplemental Material

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pp. 209-226


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pp. 227-242


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pp. 243-262


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pp. 263-265

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584785
E-ISBN-10: 1602584788
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582682
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582688

Page Count: 250
Illustrations: 17
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st

OCLC Number: 794698771
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Compromising Scholarship

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Postmodernism and higher education -- United States.
  • Christians -- Political activity -- United States.
  • Church and college -- United States.
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