Post Modernism in higher education.

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by will_shred, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo that title is enough to cause a flame war alone depending on how you define post modernism, which seems to vary from person to person. My previous thread in Off-Topic got me thinking about the political climate on college campuses. The most notable person raising this issue that i'm aware of is Jordan Peterson. Now, I actually have a lot of respect for Peterson, even as someone who could be defined as "far left". The lectures from his classes he uploaded to youtube on personality theory and his class "maps of meaning" are really fascinating, and really there isn't much mention of politics in his classroom. So is his lecture series analyzing passages from the bible. His debate with Sam Harris in Vancouver is also some good food IMO. With that in mind, I use post modernism in the title because of how Peterson defines it. He sort of uses the terms post modernism and "cultural marxism" interchangeably. This is coming from the guy who started the marxism discussion thread, basically arguing in favor of a kind of marxism.

    If I understand his position correctly, and I think I've watched enough interviews to say that I do. Peterson defines cultural marxism as, defining people not by their individual personality but by their group identity. Instead of seeing someone as an individual, the post modern theory defines people only in terms of their group identity. As in, you are defined by your race, your sexual orientation, your gender identity, your political party, your music scene, and so on. Post modernism also suggests that all social dynamics are defined by power, with the various factions of people all attempting to gain the upperhand on the others in political power, social power, financial power, and so on. This worldview has tended to alienate young men, especially young white men, by attaching the baggage of the frankly undeniable history of white supremacist, patriarchal, tendencies that have defined much of western history. I think that the crux of petersons argument against how he defines post modernism is two parts, 1) that people are more complex than just their group identity, the moral character of an individual can't be pinned down to their various group identities, it really only comes from actually knowing that person. 2) Social interactions are also far more complex than simple power dynamics, people's actions cannot be boiled down in this way.

    Of course, this is the definition of a straw man. You mis-characterize the person you're debating and knock down your own shoddy characterization.

    My only experience in college is at my small community college, and I can't say that I've ever met a professor who had beliefs like that, I had one very intelligent english professor who might be defined in this way, but she was more discussing the influences of class and privilege not as defining a person, but as definitely being an undeniable part of that persons identity. I'm interested in hearing from everyone, especially conservatives here. I have heard lots of talk about the "extreme left" taking over college campuses. It seems like a bunch of nonsense to me, but I don't have enough experience in higher education to make that call. I have a very close friend who is transgender who actually agrees that the insular nature of academia has let an extreme left wing ideology grow unchallenged.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Super Duper Moduraturr

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    Did you just make a thread reducing the question of whether or not equality-of-outcome can be imposed without tyranny to a dichotomy of left vs right, and then invite the great political minds of sevenstring.org to explain it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  3. MickD7

    MickD7 SS.org Regular

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    I recently dropped out of some short courses due to the continued argument of identity politics. These courses where prep courses for a 4 year Jazz Guitar Degree and Composition. The continued stalling of actually discussion of Music in favour for Identity Politics really started to grind on me. Especially because of the upfront fees that came along with the course and squeezing it in 6-7 day working week.

    I started reading about Peterson well over a year before these things transpired, since then a lot of the landscape here at home has changed. And I used to be “left wings” and go to protests and rallies and all of that and it started boiling over to how “woke” you are and into an arms race.

    I’m completely ok with people wanting and needing change, however the outcome of most of these things is very short minded. Some of those entering political races now have zero understanding of economics,health care ect.

    12 Rules For Life is a good read for someone like myself. I have Bipolar and ADHD and my wife and I have been through some pretty brutal shit in the last year. Some of the Choas/Order stuff is for me a good boost of energy to keep me on track and take my meds and be responsible. The understanding of being accountable for our actions is something I think a lot of people have forgotten and lost their way on.

    As for the rest.... I stopped performing music for a year due to personal health which was my decision. I’ve continued that break to pursue study and teaching and tech work and I’m glad not to face the gauntlet of wokeness at the end of a show as to why I don’t have x kind of person or y kind of person in my line up of a band.

    They wanted to split hairs so my discussion was well We had a Vegan, A Macedonian and some one with A Mental health disorder. But apparently that’s not “minority” enough or whatever nonsense people ramble on about. And that we should feel bad for being on the cusp of success because we are white....

    we played a fundraiser show for Utopia the poorest Indigenous Australian town in the country and I donated my first guitar to a 15 year old kid. But still I shouldn’t feel proud about making a difference because I’m white. That’s what I was told by many people with that “Left”point of view and it sounded to me a lot like the “right

    Hard work doesn’t me shit now a days.
     
  4. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    Awesome, I've been watching a lot of Jordan Peterson's interviews recently, and really enjoying them. This guy came to my attention because of the protests against him, and then you actually hear the man speak and it's like "wait, this guy is Hitler??". I don't think so.
     
  5. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Is this the same spposed free-speech advocate Jordan Peterson who claims to deal out harsh truths... but often threatens libel lawsuits when someone critiques his ideas?

    Because that spells "snowflake."
     
  6. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    It depends on where you live and your area of study. Colleges like Reed College here in Portland actually identify themselves as a liberal college. At Portland State University extreme left agendas are the status quo, but be aware that the majority of people seeking liberal arts degrees probably won’t have a plethora of decent paying jobs to choose from upon graduation. In Oregon the market is already over saturated with drug counselors, homeless advocates, social workers, counselors etc -none are very lucrative fields, so ideals and the job market that supports ideals are two different things. But yeah...as a history major, the last election was a major distraction of unrelated current political discussions and coincidentally those same people who disrupted everyone else’s education put their convictions before their education and couldn’t understand why they landed behind the grading curve when it came time for mids/finals. Politics don’t belong in everything
     
  7. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    I've noticed it. From what I've seen, it's almost as bad as the "conservosphere" paints it out to be.
    I've been graded harshly multiple times for not falling in the line with the 'white men are evil' narrative.
    I've been personally harassed by a rogue professor with a beef because I challenged her bullshit.
    I had a professor call me sexist because I pointed out errors in her work and literally tell me that "as long as I am the only one to teach this course, you will never pass it."
    I had one instructor deliberately ignore and avoid me prior to the closing of the semester so that I was not able to reconcile my grade resulting in a substantially lower mark. Again- because I didn't play along. I had 1 (one) professor who adhered to the "SJW" mantra that was capable of remaining impartial. She was fantastic. All of the others...I honestly do not believe have any business teaching kids. One is actually currently trying to get a student kicked out of the university because he organized a protest of her class, since she publicly posted anti-american propaganda.

    It's easy to assume that all of what I said above can easily be attributed to me just being an asshole. Which is probably true, (I am somewhat of a dick) but in general I am one of the quietest, keep-to-myself, soft-spoken people you will ever meet. I hate speaking when I don't have to, I hate making statements and arguments unless I literally have evidence in my hand, and I tend to keep my head down and weather bullshit wherever I encounter it. In the context of school, this is all even more true. Most of my interactions with these people were done through extreme care, and I took great care to stick to easily provable statements and to speak very, very delicately whenever there was any hint of a disagreement. With this in mind, I doubt that these interactions were spurred from me being a prick.

    But that being said, I live in California. You really can't find a worse place. I'm pretty sure that at most universities and colleges that are located literally anywhere else, it probably isn't so bad. But what I'm seeing, and I think what a lot of these people like Peterson that are so firmly against all of this are noticing, is that it's the beginnings of an alarming movement. The stuff we're seeing now sucks, yes; but when this stuff today becomes normal, what's going to be the over the top stuff then? Guys getting treated like garbage is rapidly becoming 'accepted' and it baffles and alarms me how this trend continues as if it's encountering zero resistance. Even outside of school, I still notice this 'group identity' phenomena being stronger than ever. I don't know if it's always been this way and I just never noticed it as a kid, but cliques are absolutely pervasive. Everything you can imagine has a clique for it, and if you deviate even slightly, you're out. Not only out, but almost persecuted by the in-group.

    Kind of why I love this place so much, is purely because it doesn't really feel like that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    That sounds arguably more like modernism and structuralism than post-modernism, in the Derrida/deconstructionist sense of the term at least (and IMO he would know), wherein since all meaning is arbitrary anyway and only exists in opposition to some other meaning you're free to ignore those power structures and group identities and creatively redefine them as you see fit.

    At a bare minimum, a post-modern reading of that quote above would require me to point out that you are NOT defined by your race, your sexual orientation, et al, so much as you are defined by what you are not, and knowing oneself in any concrete and non-arbitrary term would require the knowledge and existence of a binary anti-self.

    Also, if Peterson is claiming that he's a post-modernist, while making what appear to be fundamentally structurallist arguments, then he's a fucking idiot. :lol:
     
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  9. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Please don't take it the wrong way, but every time I read this kind of sob story it comes across as excuses and blaming others for your poor marks. I went to a big 10 school and saw firsthand people make these exact same kind of cop-out excuses in an attempt to reconcile that they simply didn't do as well as they thought they deserved to.

    Let me let you in on a secret: even politically left-leaning students earn poor marks. They even sometimes think they deserve better and try to blame the professor; they just don't blame the 'evil jew libral indoctrination brainwash machine'

    Maybe what you say did really happen, I'm sure it's not impossible. I'm just sayin'.
     
  10. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    Not a sob story so much as it is anecdotal evidence. Aside from these instructors, teaching usually General Education (read- laughably easy) courses, I was an A, maybe sometimes B student. I graduated high school at 15 years old with a >4.0 GPA and my first three semesters of college already under my belt. These courses were a GE Political Science course, a GE Anthropology course, an advanced level Programming and Algorithms course (the first of which I ever scored less than a 93), and a GE "Cultural Studies" course. The only important and difficult course was the algorithms, which is coincidentally the one where the issue was that I had to correct my instructor's work.

    Making excuses? No. Blaming others? Absolutely.
    I went to college because I wanted to be somebody.

    This sounds to me like I stated something you don't want to hear and instead opted to dismiss what I had to say. Why? You know nothing about me.
     
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  11. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    lol I wasn't questioning whether or not you believe yourself...
     
  12. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    I guess I'm just confused about why you would come into a thread asking about users' experience with this type of behavior in an academic setting, only to challenge somebody's experience with this type of behavior in an academic setting without any background knowledge about what you're questioning whatsoever. :shrug:
     
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  13. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Pardon me for giving my own experience. Going to university in Indiana I heard this same BS constantly. :shrug:
     
  14. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I also saw a huge difference in quality and ethics between the instructors at the Clark community college where I attended and the tenured professors I had at Portland State University and Willamette University...
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Can we maybe stay on topic here, which near as I can tell is that Jordan Peterson wouldn't know what post-modernism is if someone hit him over the head with a copy of Of Grammatology? :rofl:
     
  16. wannabguitarist

    wannabguitarist Contributor

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    I used to listen to a lot of Peterson 2ish years ago, and for a while his points really echoed with me because the extreme identity politics of the far left is well, awful. The thing is though, outside of college campuses people do not actually talk or act like that, and college kids have always been reactionary and dumb. It just feels like an old, slightly out of touch guy making money of young/middle age white dudes that are angry at dumb things college kids are saying.

    I do believe this is true:
    I've been out of college for close to 6 years now so this viewpoint wasn't as prevalent back then, but it was still super frustrating trying to participate in a debate and occasionally getting shouted down because of who I am (straight white dude), and not because my point was bad (most of the contention was over minutia as I already lean left :lol:). Not what I was expecting from one of the top Political Science programs in the state and because like you said, social interactions are also far more complex than simple power dynamics. This was extremely rare though.

    I guess I agree with Peterson that you can't boil a person down to their whatever identity is or how they fit into society's power structures, but the whole problem he's talking about is extremely overblown. There are a lot of uncomfortable white men out there that are concerned because power structures are shifting. That's going to lead to some discomfort, but focusing on the loudest, most irrational voices is just dumb.

    Well Peterson doesn't consider himself a post-modernist; he's constantly arguing against that belief system. The more I listen to him however, the more I believe he is actually an idiot :lol:

    This might be worth making another thread, but it's not hard to argue that really everything is political at its core.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  17. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I’m talking about National partisan politics...how is say Math and Engineering intrinsically a left/right political issue? I’m curious
     
  18. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

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    I remember the people who used the first 15 minutes of class to talk about about the partisan horizon in Calculus class and asserted that “it’s ALL relevant” were the exact same ones who didn’t pass the class. I think it’s safe to say it was a distraction (both sides)...not beneficial insights. But yeah, you can make anything political if you want to
     
  19. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Guys getting treated like garbage is rapidly becoming accepted? Guys are getting treated like garbage? That's a weird bubble to be in.

    I don't follow Peterson but to me it seems like you're doing the same sort of thing. You're creating a group identity of academics, and assigning them a largely SJW stance on things, despite them all being individual people with varying degrees of agreement on such issues, and further, varying degrees to which their own politics/biases infiltrate their teaching and professional lives. Your scope of academia is like .001% of instructors at .00001% of schools, and that's going to give you enough leverage to make claims about the group and its effect on society's trajectory? Seems like a little bit of a reach.
     
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  20. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Explorer, I usually appreciate your input but this comment hasn't really contributed anything to the conversation. I haven't heard anything about Peterson threatening to sue his critics, and from what I understand that would be extremely out of character for him. You're gonna have to provide a citation for that claim. Also, nobody here has made any mention of "snowflakes" besides you. The reason I wanted to make this thread is to get above that noise and actually talk about this issue in a reasonable way. It seems like group identity is very important for a lot of people, and I genuinely want to get a deeper understanding of why that is. Or, if, there is a substantial number of people who seem to take it too far as Peterson claims (Because I genuinely don't know). The terms "political correctness" "snowflake", ect, are never used in constructive ways in my experience.
     

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