ERIC Number: ED344217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Backlash against Political Correctness--A Perspective from a Canadian Composition Classroom.
Politics has always made strange bedfellows, but now the public and the traditional academy are collaborating in an attack on the site of their uneasiness--what they label "political correctness as neo-fascism" and what one composition teacher calls "political correctness as challenge to ideological assumptions." In their attacks on "illiberal education," the voices of the orthodox backlash have seized upon the well-tempered, double-edged blade of political correctness and turned it into a clumsy cudgel. The central technique is publicly to discredit the efforts of many by the association with the excesses of a few. Another closely related tactic is the "slippery slope": wanting to include a non-canonical writer in a course will lead to the squeezing out of Shakespeare. Many analysts of the "political correctness" debate locate the intersection of values and language as the heart of the matter. The backlash against so-called political correctness is another manifestation of middle-class anxiety and cultural hegemony. The backlash has not really cracked into Canadian composition classrooms. Composition teachers can best point out the assumptions and limitations of existing orthodoxy (as well as alternatives) in the composition classroom, where they deal every day with language's construction of knowledge and reality. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Politically Correct Communication
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).