Academic Questions

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 65–78 | Cite as

Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups

  • George YanceyEmail author

The question about the effects of political scientific bias is not yet settled, but evidence of the existence of this bias continues to emerge.1 While political/cultural progressives2 and the nonreligious3 are overrepresented in academia, it is still debated whether this overrepresentation is the result of discrimination4 or self-selection.5 Regardless of its source, the overrepresentation of political and religious progressives can alter the type of scientific research produced.

A key way academia may be shaped by a disproportionate number of progressive scholars is choice of research question. For example, my colleague David Williamson and I studied the social movement of cultural progressives in part because previous culture war research concentrated on cultural conservatives.6,7Even assuming that progressives unbiasedly analyzed cultural and religious conservative groups, the very act of being scrutinized can produce a disconcerting attitude among those examined. Respondents may...


Social Entrepreneurship Conservative Group Progressive Group Pedophilia Black Panther Party 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North TexasDentonUSA

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