Political correctness

Over the last seven years or so the expression “political correctness” has entered the political lexicon across the English speaking world.

Hundreds of opinion pieces in newspaper and magazines have been written about political correctness as well of scores of academic articles about it and the debates in which the expression gained its currency.

Correspondingly, it has become a popular tactic, especially in conservative political circles, to accuse one’s political opponents of being “politically correct”. Its proponents are often religious traditionalists or cultural conservatives, are typically hostile to feminism, socialism and homosexuality and opposed to affirmative action programs and other redistributive social welfare programs. They want, they say, to avoid victimisation and to get the person before the disability .

Some people believe the possibility of giving offence, causing embarrassment, lowering self-esteem, reinforcing stereotypes, perpetuating prejudice, victimising, marginalising or discriminating to be more important than stating the truth, never mind the chance of doing so with any verve or panache.

source: “Uncommon Differences: On Political Correctness, Core Curriculum and Democracy in Education”, The Lion and the Unicorn, Volume 16, Number 1, June 1992, pp. 1–16 | 10.1353/uni.0.0216 (http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/uni/summary/v016/16.1.kohl.html) Ruth Perry, (1992), “A Short History of the Term ‘Politically Correct’ ”, in Beyond PC: Toward a Politics of Understanding , by Patricia Aufderheide, 1992 Debra L. Schultz (1993) “To Reclaim a Legacy of Diversity: Analyzing the ‘Political Correctness’ Debates in Higher Education”. New York: National Council for Research on Women (http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/13

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