Battling Bias: The Struggle for Identity and Community on College Campuses

Overview

Politicians, philosophers, and academics have spent countless hours debating the issues of greatest concern on college campuses today: multiculturalism, political correctness, race relations, sexual politics, and gender. But what has been noticeably missing from their discussions are the voices of the students themselves. Battling Bias is one of the first books to offer an analysis of their actions and reactions on their own college campuses. In this work a wide variety of students from both public and private ...

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Battling Bias: The Struggle for Identity and Community on College Campuses

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Overview

Politicians, philosophers, and academics have spent countless hours debating the issues of greatest concern on college campuses today: multiculturalism, political correctness, race relations, sexual politics, and gender. But what has been noticeably missing from their discussions are the voices of the students themselves. Battling Bias is one of the first books to offer an analysis of their actions and reactions on their own college campuses. In this work a wide variety of students from both public and private schools across the country share their pain and anger, their concerns and experiences and the impact on their lives of the surge of conflicts so omnipresent on campuses today. Sidel explores these issues against a backdrop of our current economic problems and polarities, our increasingly diverse society and changing patterns of immigration. She discusses the key problems for American higher education (including who should have access to it), and offers solutions. This unique contribution to the continuing debate on the role of education in a democratic society should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of our schools and of our nation.

A leading sociologist moves beyond ideological polemic and talks to college students themselves about the ramifications of today's fierce campus controversies, including multiculturalism, race relations, sexual politics, political correctness, and gender.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Here Sidel (Women and Children Last) offers a long-needed analysis of current social and sexual politics on American college campuses, backing up her study with surveys and statistics as well as interviews with students. Her book is well reasoned and readable. The first two chapters provide much-perhaps too much-statistical and sociocultural context for Sidel's thesis that America's increasingly diverse cultural landscape (a diversity most evident in our classrooms) requires the concerted and considered efforts of all to achieve a semblance of social harmony. In part two, Sidel enriches her statistical evidence by recounting the experiences of college students who have dealt with bias incidents. The students, mainly from east coast schools, express widely varying opinions on bias-much like those that inform today's campus debates about race, gender and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, bias incidents, hate crimes and discrimination are far from rare at America's colleges. But, as Sidel shows, many students are actively battling them. The author personalizes and clarifies a rancorous national problem. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This report of bias incidents on American college campuses analyzes not only reports of volatile incidents but government data, pop culture, and economic indicators for current and future graduates. Noted sociologist Sidel On Her Own, LJ 11/15/89 devotes the bulk of her book to interviews with over 100 students from 17 colleges, most of which are located on the East Coast. She finds that ethnicity and gender polarization has caused students to be labeled and classified, a practice that dehumanizes everyone. Sidel concludes that higher education is still the force that shapes American society, but if fewer and fewer poor and minority students are able to attend, its function as a vehicle of social mobility is destroyed. An important contribution to the analysis of contemporary American culture. Recommended.-Arla Lindgren, St. John's Univ., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140158311
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part One
1. Who Shall Learn?
2. The Societal Context
3. Conflict Within the Ivory Tower
Part Two
Introduction
4. Coping with Bliss
5. Speaking Out
6. Leading Students
7. Walking in Two Worlds
8. Facing Diversity
Part Three
Introduction
9. A Matter of Survival
Notes
Selected Reading
Index

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