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Dr. Helen

White Men are Alienated in Higher Ed: Who Knew?

March 25th, 2013 - 1:30 pm

A reader sent me an interesting article from Inside Higher Ed entitled Majority Disaffection:

ORLANDO – Most people who are not straight white men would probably smirk at the idea that straight white men feel alienated in the higher education workplace.

Those who smirk, Sandra Miles said here at the annual conference of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, are hindering meaningful discussion about race.

Miles, whose dissertation on the professional experiences of black women in her field produced an unexpected sub-study about the alienation of straight white men, made this argument to a couple hundred people who turned up to hear more about her research. The ensuing debate was, unsurprisingly, somewhat contentious.

A comment by one white graduate student toward the end of the session summed it up well. He described a recent discussion about privilege in a higher education class, when he was shot down after offering his own thoughts.

“I couldn’t even begin to have that conversation because it was automatically assumed I didn’t understand,” he said. “To go through that experience in a higher education class – which is supposed to be the safest place to talk about that – was just terrifying.”

Really, a higher ed class is a safe place to be a white male? Even as an undergrad in the 1980′s, I watched white men being shot down in class all the time for “not understanding.” Glad some people are finally catching on after only 30 or maybe even 50 years of this. It’s about time that a few researchers are taking notice, I guess. Better late than never.

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All Comments   (12)
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We need to highlight that the phrase "white male" is an incredibly simplistic and ignorant statement. The phrase is essentially meaningless in describing anything relevant about a person's chance for success. "White privilege" is what drives this nonsense about white males incapacity to understand. But there are many white groups in America that are not privileged (rural poor). There are many privileged groups which are not white (Michelle Obama and her background come to mind). What constitutes privilege? It seems to me it's mostly the skills and expectations handed down from parents.

Per Thomas Sowell's column a week or so back, Dr. Ben Carson did not seem to grow up with a privileged background, his mother did not have the skills to impart that would allow him to ascend to his current success. However, Ben Carson was privileged because his mother did impart to him the expectation of academic success.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If the black woman does have an authentic complaint, then yes, by definition the white man is "alienated" from her position, probably with his "false consciousness" of what is actually true.

Marxism, and the modern academy, are like that, they claim a privilege to dictate just what is true, and you must acknowledge their superiority as a condition of playing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Interesting. She or they may want to rethink using the term "alienation" to describe the white male's current experience in academia; the term does have a rich academic history in the history of social theory. The Marxian amelioration for alienation is revolution and expropriation of the expropriators. Perhaps something more French like Emile Durkheim's anomie may be more conserving and appropriate; white males are just suffering an absence of meaningful norms and need more organic law and order instead of revolution. But gay marriage is now also defended as being "organic" and a forgone conclusion in the history of progress. On the other hand, bestiality and murder is also organic but no one seems to be advocating humping Lassie as the next stage in universal human relationship progress; so much for selective appeals to nature and science to fallaciously deduce normal human conduct. White minority males of academia unite! You only have your chains to lose.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, as the straight white male students perceive it, they have a lot more than that to lose. The academy's perception of them is uniformly negative, and they know that their academic lives and careers hang by a thread at all times. While male students know the rules: do your work, repeat back whatever the professor wants to hear, keep your opinions to yourself, and have your fun off campus.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yah; I did my grad degree in academic psychology. And I'm a Texan who is a former infantry officer on active duty.

If anything, I learned to speak circumspectly and only to talk to professors with at least one other person around.

I make a nice living, due to my grad school degree and license. But I'm slowly withdrawing from most other things. I'll take care of my family, etc. Pretty much, everyone else is on there own.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Its even worse than you might think. The Combat Arms portion of the armed forces are predominantly white southern men. This is not an issue of discrimination or lack of affirmative action in the forces, it is in spite of those items. The left sees the armed forces as 'careers' with training and benefits, thus non-white men, who join in spite of the anti-military crowd, tend to seek staff and supporting type roles. (clerks, technicians, supply etc). While white southern men still sign up for the hard core.

When these men are so disenhearted that they no longer serve, or have a future if they do serve, who will man the battlements?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The anecdote by the white graduate student sums up the stupidity of the liberal position. Some how a white man doesn't/can't understand what it's like to be black, female, whatever. Yet, those people think they understand perfectly what it's like to be a white male.
Of course, as TMG points out, it's not really about understanding. It's about hatred and blaming someone else for your problems.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Based on personal experience and observation, I'd say their claims to "understanding" white straight men is a maskirova. They don't, and they don't care to, as long as they can feel they know enough to control or punish, they're happy. How often have I heard it pointed out, that white straight men, especially when in their 20s, don't put a premium of "being understood," and therefore the attempt to do so is rejected by the PC. There's some truth to that, I don't remember caring as much about being understood back then.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the concept is more like: "Straight white men are sub-human. There is nothing to understand other than a few primal urges. Therefore, trying to 'understand' them is pointless. Further, nothing they might have to say is valid, because they are not capable of understanding the underlying principles. You don't pay attention to their opinions, any more than you would care about opinions expressed by a parrot."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It should be plainly clear that the Left is fomenting hatred by promoting tribalism and it is working spectacularly.

Unfortunately I think we are well past the tipping point and those of us who rely on the better angels of our nature are in for a very rough period.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was just reading Richard Fernandez' column here about being the last mover. We may just have to hang on for a while and try to survive. After the collapse, those who live according to what you might call the "white male ethic" will be the only ones capable of putting the pieces back together.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Engineering classes are safe from this kind of BS. The problem is that most universities require you to take a fair number of liberal-arts classes the first two years prior to entering the engineering program.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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