Political Correctness - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

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The social and cultural phenomenon known as political correctness emerged on American college campuses during the 1980s and became a part of the larger cultural scene in the 1990s. Political correctness was neither a social movement nor a coherent political platform, but rather a tendency among governing bodies, especially in academic institutions, to police the spoken, written, or implied beliefs of those with whom they disagreed. Organizations and individuals behaved in a politically correct, or PC, manner when they attempted to restrict the rights of others to espouse opposing beliefs or to use offensive language. To its critics, primarily conservatives, political correctness was censorship, pure and simple; to its proponents, primarily liberals, it was an attempt to create an environment in which no one gave or took offense.

The historical origins of the term political correctness are unclear but telling. Some trace the origins of political...

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This section contains 1,370 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Political Correctness Encyclopedia Article
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Political Correctness from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.