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ERIC Number: ED551788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-3626-7
Free Speech or Bias: A Study on the Impact of Hate Speech in Higher Education
Merrigan, Kathleen M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The phenomenon of hate speech on a college campus is an extremely complex issue as the prevalence and impact are intertwined within a multifaceted social construct. What is termed appropriate within one subculture or group may be seen as derogatory, offensive, or harassing to another group. Race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability status all provide substance and context for the development of a socially constructed identity and corresponding worldview. Through a series of structured observations, a field questionnaire, and individual interviews, this observational case study employed a qualitative design derived from the social constructivist worldview. Students noted anger and emotional pain when discussing how they were impacted when hate speech was directed toward them; however, they were more impassioned in their reactions to witnessing or observing incidents of hate speech inflicted on others. The policies and procedures created on a college campus for speech and conduct must allow for the free flow of dialogue in a manner that protects the right to free speech with a clear expectation that those rights do not infringe upon the right to an education that is free from the fears associated with hate. Incidents of hate can and do disrupt the educational process, which leads to the necessity of exploring the use and impact of such incidents. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A