The Dynamics Of Political Correctness

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Correctly Political: A Look into the Dynamics of Political Correctness

Every American probably knows what it means to be politically correct.
After all, we hear about it on the news almost every night. We have to be constantly aware of whether or not something we say or do is going to offend someone. This mode of communication is present in every aspect of our lives, from the most formal to the most informal situations.
This paper will answer questions on the origin of the term ‘politically correct' and the applications of the communication pattern it refers to: who started it, who is doing it, and why. Is political correctness a good idea? Is it too pervasive?
Varying opinions on the definition of political correctness exist. For the purposes of this writing the most concise definition available has been selected. Political Correctness refers to matters of inclusive speech, advocacy of nonracist, nonageist, nonsexist terminology, and insistence on affirmative action policies, avoidance of Eurocentrism as reflected in a “traditional” canon of literature, acceptance of multiculturalism as a valued feature of American society, and dismantling hierarchy as controlled by a white male power structure.
(Hoover and Howard 963)
In a nutshell, political correctness is an attempt at changing the way we look at things. The goal is to be respectful of all people and cultures.
Unfortunately, in the process of fostering understanding, the culture and ideas that are presently embraced must be discredited and virtually destroyed. This “ traditionalist” power structure is constantly under fire in the debate over political correctness. Nontraditionalists have proposed that we “regard the creation of a culturally diverse community as not just fair, but as a valued objective in its own right.” (qtd. in Hoover and Howard 967) In order to fully understand the effects of politically correct thinking, it is necessary to see it through time to its present state.
There is a wealth of information on the history of the term “political correctness” and it's applications. However, scholars usually do not agree.
The most common commentaries have noted its use in North American social movements from the late 1960's and within Leninist part...

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...tless books and articles which study and debate the problems and effects of PC. The left and right of the University are the nontraditionalists and the traditionalists. Debates over Universities center on curricula, in particular the literary canon. The canon is made us primarily of works by dead white males and is part of the core curriculum at nearly every University in America. Nontraditionalists seek to alter the canon by either supplementing it with a multicultural emphasis, or overhauling it and starting from scratch to create a more diverse base of literary education.
Traditionalists wish to continue to teach the current canon, and see the nontraditionalists' aims as subversive and irresponsible. (Hoover and Howard
968)
At a few Universities, nontraditionalist views are influencing class scheduling. Some schools have instituted “alternative” courses: Dartmouth offers “The Invention of Heterosexuality and How to Have Promiscuity in an
Epidemic.” At Brown one could find a course called “Christianity, Violence, and
Victimization.” Even Yale has PC courses: “Gender and the Politics of
Resistance: Feminism, Capitalism, and the Third World.” (Leo 18)

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