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Thread: Do universities liberalize students?

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    2 members found this post helpful.

    Do universities liberalize students?



    It seems the answer may be yes, to some extent they do.

    See:
    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandp...cation-effect/

    "It has long been established that those who have experienced higher education are more liberal than those who have not on this ‘cultural’ dimension. Exactly howeducation liberalises’ remains the subject of some debate. Evidence from Switzerland has suggested it is primarily a self-selection effect of those going to university being already more liberal than those who do not; while there is an on-going suggestion that it is the beliefs and values of academic staff which produce more liberal graduates. To fully explore these propositions, good quality longitudinal data are needed. In the UK, the 1970 birth cohort study provides one such source (albeit one frozen in time before more recent expansions of the higher education sector)."

    "
    Taking attitudes to the death penalty as emblematic of these ‘liberal’ social/cultural values it is possible to track how these change before and after higher education. As Figure 6 shows, it is the case that those who went on to gain a university degree were less likely to support the death penalty even before they completed their UCAS forms (at age 16) but this gap widens over time so that by age 30 the gap between those with degrees and those with lower level qualifications has increased. It is also clear from this chart that the key differentiation is between those with degree or higher-level qualifications and those with other qualifications. This suggests that there is something specific about the experience of higher education which produces more liberal values. This appears to be something which is independent of the subject of study as a similar increase in the proportion not in favour of the death penalty occurs across different subject groups.When seeking to understand the connections between education and political behaviour, the dominant approach in political science has been to turn to the idea of a social cleavage, but this is difficult to sustain as there is little evidence that education produces the kind of social group identity that is needed to classify a divide as a cleavage, quite apart from the lack of a clear articulation of education-based interests by political elites. A more fruitful line of enquiry is to seek a deeper understanding of the connections between education and values: to understand how education liberalises. To do this adequately will require a much closer examination of the processes, content, and types of educational experiences of those who ultimately end up with different qualification levels. It will require political analysts to take education seriously and not as a ‘black box’ explanation for value divides and voting."

    I'd be happy to tell her how it works: relentless propaganda disguised as instruction.


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    "As Figure 6 shows, it is the case that those who went on to gain a university degree were less likely to support the death penalty even before they completed their UCAS forms (at age 16) but this gap widens over time so that by age 30 the gap between those with degrees and those with lower level qualifications has increased. It is also clear from this chart that the key differentiation is between those with degree or higher-level qualifications and those with other qualifications. This suggests that there is something specific about the experience of higher education which produces more liberal values."

    i wonder, they probably did not ask the same person at age 16 and then later at age 30. so they can't really say that they changed their mind. it could still be because of other factors. what if there is a direct or indirect selection towards more liberal people at the universities?

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    The USA is very unusual in its extremely polarised political division between (ultra-)conservative and liberal people when it comes to social issues like abortion, gay rights, decriminalisation of cannabis, teaching of Creationism in schools, etc. Most of those issues hardly cause any debate in Western and Northern Europe, where the liberal vue is taken for granted by most of the population.

    When it comes to the influence of universities on students' political views, in my experience Belgian universities are rather conservative, probably because most of them are Catholic universities, including the most famous one (Leuven).
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I don't think Great Britain is any model of an unpolarized society.

    I know a lot of people who have worked or work there so I follow things pretty closely.

    There is, imo, a great deal of division along political lines, although most of the media is in lock step with far left views.

    The whole debate over Brexit has been particularly acrimonious, with friendships and families ruptured over it, and the fortunes of political parties deeply affected by it.

    Now that Brexit is a done deal, the focus is turning to censorship in universities, allegations of "racism", and other hallmarks of the "Woke" culture.

    The kerfuffle over the unfortunately American Meghan Markle, and the scandal over the Asian "grooming" gangs abusing white working class girls with impunity because the police didn't want to "exacerbate" racial divides, has brought it all to the forefront.

    Lawrence Fox is a very good British actor and musician, an unusually intelligent, educated and rational man for an actor, who has received death threats for, imo, completely reasonable comments about whether Meghan Markle was treated worse than other royals of the past because she is of mixed race, and whether white males have even the right to an opinion about the matter.

    Things are not quite that bad here. Feel sorry for him; in addition to the death threats, I doubt he'll ever work again.

    Last edited by Angela; 26-01-20 at 21:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I don't think Great Britain is any model of an unpolarized society.

    I know a lot of people who have worked or work there so I follow things pretty closely.

    There is, imo, a great deal of division along political lines, although most of the media is in lock step with far left views.

    The whole debate over Brexit has been particularly acrimonious, with friendships and families ruptured over it, and the fortunes of political parties deeply affected by it.

    Now that Brexit is a done deal, the focus is turning to censorship in universities, allegations of "racism", and other hallmarks of the "Woke" culture.

    The kerfuffle over the unfortunately American Meghan Markle, and the scandal over the Asian "grooming" gangs abusing white working class girls with impunity because the police didn't want to "exacerbate" racial divides, has brought it all to the forefront.

    Lawrence Fox is a very good British actor and musician, an unusually intelligent, educated and rational man for an actor, who has received death threats for, imo, completely reasonable comments about whether Meghan Markle was treated worse than other royals of the past because she is of mixed race, and whether white males have even the right to an opinion about the matter.

    Things are not quite that bad here. Feel sorry for him; in addition to the death threats, I doubt he'll ever work again.
    You rightly pointed out that the most emotional and divisive issues in Europe are immigration, Islam and terrorism.

    What I was trying to explain is that hot topics in the US that are closely linked to Christian taboos (gay rights, abortion) or secular taboos (Creationism, non-division of state and religion) are not issues at all in most Western or Northern European countries. Ireland was the last place where abortion was illegal except to save a woman's life and the law changed two years ago.

    Other topics that divide conservative vs liberals in the US but hardly at all in Europe include gun control, death penalty, foreign policy and a strong military.

    Immigration and terrorism is a nearly universal concern in developed countries nowadays and is certainly shared between Americans and Europeans. An interesting difference is that the political stance is almost reversed in some countries. I did not analyse the views of political parties in all EU countries, but I know that in Belgium and France parties which are labelled liberal (economically, as socially most parties are liberal by US standards) are the most anti-immigration, while the socialists are the most pro-immigration. That's one reason why liberals are considered right-wing in Europe, but left-wing in the US.

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