June 8, 2011
Posted by Jay Livingston

Henry Tischler called my attention to this nugget in the Wall Street Journal a week or so ago:
Archie Bunker used to call his son-in-law “Meathead” for his fatuous opinions, and Meathead was a graduate student in sociology. A graduate student in sociology is one who didn't get his fill of jargonized wishful thinking as an undergraduate.
(I guess the WSJ is trying to catch up to The Weekly Standard in the let’s-trash-sociology category.)

It’s from a piece by Harvey Mansfield. In a mere 500 words, Mansfield manages to be both a know-nothing and an elitist. As a know-nothing, he’s leery of quantitative research. As an elitist, he apparently thinks that a university should be like the military academies, which he mentions in his first paragraph, telling students what to study, and what to think. He’s all for instilling values, but only if they are the right values, i.e., Mansfield’s values.
Just as Gender Studies taints the whole university with its sexless fantasies, so economists infect their neighbors with the imitation science they peddle.
That pretty much summarizes his view of what’s wrong with universities – taint from the wrong values, infection from quantitative data and logic. You can read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

andrewska said...

Put this on "Deserves To Be Ignored" pile!