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Mistaken Identities

The Second Wave of Controversy over «Political Correctness»

Cyril Levitt, Scott Davies and Neil McLaughlin

«Political Correctness» refers to the initiatives of feminists, multiculturalists, and postmodernists to promote cultural sensitivity, social inclusion, and protections against harassment. Though the media has covered its more salacious incidences over the past decade, the dominant understanding of this controversy - as a political war between a stodgy Right and a united Left - is misleading. In the past five years, a new «second wave» of controversy over political correctness has presented a distinctive set of issues, which has unveiled a core of enduring problems that strike at the heart of liberal democracy. This book collects the work of seventeen authors, all of whom situate themselves somewhere from the center to the left of the political spectrum and who challenge the view of political correctness as a simple square-off between leftists and neo-conservatives. They examine the challenges posed by political correctness to individual rights, universalism and equality, and science and reason.
Contents: Scott Davies/Cyril Levitt/Neil McLaughlin: Two Waves of Debate over Rights, Regulation and Reason – Daphne Patai: «There Ought to Be a Law» Sexual Harassment and the Drive for a Perfect Future – A. Alan Borovoy: Paradoxes of Equality – Neil W. Hamilton: Zealotry and the Fundamentalist Academic Left – Frank Furedi: The New Etiquette – Irving Louis Horowitz: Totalitarian Origins and Outcomes of Political Orthodoxy: Through a Soviet Looking Glass Darkly – Philip Resnick: Why PC? Why B.C.? – Rhoda E. Howard: Women’s Rights, Group Rights and the Erosion of Liberalism – Todd Gitlin: Marching on the English Department While the Right Took the White House – Rhoda E. Howard: Academic Freedom and Inclusivity in Canadian Universities – Patricia Marchak: Identity Politics in a Changing Culture – Vered Amit-Talai: Revolutionary Claims and Political Stalemates: A Review of the Relationship between Multiculturalism and Post-modernism – Karen L. Bird: Group Recognition in the Civic Republic: Citizenship, Equality and Pluralism in France – Sandra Martin: Deconstructing the Age of Equity – Louis Greenspan: Towards the Windmills? A Minority Report on the War Against PC – Barbara Ehrenreich/Janet McIntosh: The New Creationism: Biology Under Attack – Alan D. Sokal: Truth, Reason, Objectivity, and the Left – Barbara Epstein: At a Time of Danger and Opportunity, the Academic Left Should Take a Critical Look at Itself – Okey Chigbo: Reading, Writing & Racism: Black ideology is the black child’s most debilitating burden.