Thursday, May 14, 2015

Professor Meets World

Inside Higher Ed
May 14th, 2015

Anyone who’s ever thumbed through an academic publication knows that what professors write, think or talk about doesn’t always translate to a wider audience. Ideas that are riveting to a group of scholars in the same field might elicit yawns from outsiders. Likewise, ideas that are relatively uncontroversial among colleagues might elicit outrage from the public.
That’s what happened this week when cherry-picked tweets about race by Saida Grundy, an incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University, made headlines. Was BU bringing a racist onto the faculty, bloggers and commenters -- mostly those from outside academe -- asked in response to Grundy calling white college men a “problem population.” Lots of sociologists, meanwhile, rushed to Grundy’s defense, citing empirical evidence supporting her claim and generally asking what the big deal was.

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