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Old 06-24-2008, 05:03 PM   #136
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Looks like BVS dug himself a hole again.

Poor little feller.

Why Do Sociologists Lean Left — Really Left? � Organizations and Markets

44:1 Democrat/Republican leaning of sociology faculty members. The highest of any discipline.
This argument is as bad as "higher education = liberal". I'm almost embarassed for those individuals.

How is it that advocating the measurement, statistics, and interpretations of behavior be "left-wing"?
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:06 PM   #137
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does this beg the question of whether or not there are any "left-wing economists/professors at business schools"?
Well, according to that same survey I posted, the political lines are relatively well balanced in business faculties. There are certainly left-wing economists. There are Marxist economists, for example, and left-wing economists of less extreme variations.

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could it be that the study of sociology leads one to adopt a more left-wing viewpoint?
It could, yes. But also, the study of sociology in the manner in which it is currently taught could lead one to adopt a more left-wing viewpoint.

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you don't think that people decide to get PhDs in sociology -- facing a good 5-8 years of grad school and a brutal job market -- simply because they want to further a political agenda? there are much easier ways to do that, and you wont incur nearly as much debt.
That might be the case in the US. In countries where college fees are more heavily subsidised by the state, it is certainly conceivable that someone would embark on a lecturing career as a means of furthering a political agenda. There are, indeed, several examples from Britain in the 1970's.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:08 PM   #138
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This argument is as bad as "higher education = liberal". I'm almost embarassed for those individuals.

How is it that advocating the measurement, statistics, and interpretations of behavior be "left-wing"?
While I concede that Democrat/Republican can no longer be reliably associated with Left/Right, don't you find that 44:1 ratio pretty dramatic?
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:12 PM   #139
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While I concede that Democrat/Republican can no longer be reliably associated with Left/Right, don't you find that 44:1 ratio pretty dramatic?


i've taken one sociology class at the university level, and the basic conclusion was this: on balance, where you wind up is where you start.

when faced with all of this evidence that society is structured to benefit the powerful, it's hard not to be left wing about all this stuff.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:22 PM   #140
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While I concede that Democrat/Republican can no longer be reliably associated with Left/Right, don't you find that 44:1 ratio pretty dramatic?
Not really. I think there are a number of reasons for this. First of all many simply don't "believe" in or see the reason for sciences such as psychology or sociology. Most of those I would guess are right leaning. Secondly most sociologist are associated with academia, and it's been pointed out in the past many on the right don't bother with academia due to economic reasons. Thirdly, like Irvine said, which came first?

So honestly that number really doesn't explain much to me. Sociology even though not an exact science, is a science and bad science will eventually be proven wrong. Sociology has been used by both extremes to further an agenda, but at the end of the day, real science has stepped up and proven agenda driven science wrong.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:17 PM   #141
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i've taken one sociology class at the university level, and the basic conclusion was this: on balance, where you wind up is where you start.

when faced with all of this evidence that society is structured to benefit the powerful, it's hard not to be left wing about all this stuff.
On the contrary, it should make one want to become the powerful.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:39 PM   #142
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Some people actually give a shit about their fellow humans.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:09 AM   #143
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I'm not quite sure what patriarchy means, to be honest, but I think that it's a left wing sociologists' term for the traditional family unit and/or traditional family roles, i.e. father tending to be the principal breadwinner, mother tending to act as homemaker (correct me if I'm wrong).
The first attested use of the (English) term in its present sense, i.e. to describe a social and political order characterized by men "governing over" women "by prerogative of sex" both in the family and politically, was by Sir Francis Bacon in the Case of the Post-Nati of Scotland, ca. 1620 (prior to that, it's attested only as an ecclesiastical term with no broader social reference). So, the term and concept definitely isn't an invention of sociology, even if nowadays our first associations with it tend to be of feminist critical thought. As Vincent said, you'd be very hard-pressed to find a sociologist of any political persuasion who rejects the concept, regardless of what his or her own take on 'nature vs. nurture' or any other relevant debates might be.
If I can find any I know who are around for the summer, I'll ask a few of my colleagues in sociology for their ideas on that; it's a striking enough stat to make me curious--almost three times the ratio of the next most 'Democratic-leaning' field (though note that only 55% of the faculty at the 11 San Francisco and Southern Cal schools used for the study in fact identified as either 'Democrat' or 'Republican', so the finding is perhaps more of a dearth of registered Republicans than anything else). I don't have enough background in sociology nor enough familiarity with sociologists to confidently hypothesize on that myself; I can certainly think of several influential sociologists who'd generally be considered conservative within the discipline--Bell, Berger, Popenoe, Nisbet, Luckmann, Parsons, Waite, Shils--but as to who 'tends to' study sociology and why, I could really only speculate from stereotypes.

Since you mentioned economics as a more 'ideologically balanced' field, at least by their criteria--I found it interesting that math, physics, chemistry, geology, and especially biology and neuroscience were all considerably more 'liberally biased' (again, by their criteria) than economics even, despite what one might tend to stereotypically assume about the 'hard sciences' being less ideological in content and therefore less off-putting to conservatives.

I posted a thread a few months ago about the research of April and Matthew Woessner (she's a Democrat, he's a Republican)--two US political scientists who focus on student perceptions of political bias in college classrooms, and also on why so few conservatives earn doctorates. While their research, at least what I've seen of it, doesn't break respondents down by discipline, it's the best (if not the only) empirical study I've seen that at least somewhat addresses the 'whys' behind political affiliation imbalances in the academy.

What percentage of sociologists are Democrats has nothing to do with where the term 'patriarchy' comes from, though; nor were sociologists at all involved in feminism prior to the 20th century (women's suffrage, property rights, education rights etc.).
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:51 AM   #144
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Displaying his ignorance, yet again

Media Matters

Sun, Jul 20, 2008 7:44pm ET


O'Reilly: "Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice"

Summary: Discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice." But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.

As the blog Think Progress noted, on the July 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, while discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, host Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice. Why should I or anybody else have to pay for other people's choices?" But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.

O'Reilly made his comment after airing a Planned Parenthood Action Fund ad that included a clip of Sen. John McCain being asked: "It's unfair how the insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?" McCain responded: "I don't know enough about it to give you an informed answer." During the segment, O'Reilly also said: "Do I have to buy you dinner before you use the birth control? Give me and every other taxpayer a break, Planned Parenthood."

Dr. Luella Klein, former president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and then-director of ACOG's women's health issues, was quoted in a May 12, 1998, USA Today article as saying: "Pregnancy is a medical condition, just like impotence. And the cost benefit of preventing pregnancy is much greater than treating impotence." In addition, ACOG's "Contraceptive Equity Toolkit" states that "[m]ost women can become pregnant from the time they are teenagers until they are in their late forties" and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary to a woman for more than 30 years of her life." The Toolkit added: "To ignore the health benefits of contraception is to say that the alternative of 12 to 15 pregnancies during a woman's lifetime is medically acceptable."

Further, in a May 8, 2007, press release, ACOG stated that "contraception is basic, preventive health care and should be readily available and treated the same as prophylactic therapies for other medical conditions."

Additionally, according to the American Medical Association (AMA) Statement on Family and Medical Leave: "AMA supports policies that provide employees with reasonable job security and continued availability of health plan benefits in the event leave by an employee becomes necessary due to documented medical conditions. Such policies should provide for reasonable periods of paid or unpaid: (1) medical leave for the employee, including pregnancy" [emphases added].

Further, Think Progress quoted from a statement by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), which states that "[a]ccess to contraception is critical to preventing unintended pregnancies and to enabling women to control the timing and spacing of their pregnancies, which in turn reduces the incidence of maternal death, low birth weight babies, and infant mortality." The NWLC added that the "exclusion of prescription contraceptives from health insurance coverage unfairly disadvantages women by singling out for unfavorable treatment a health insurance need that only they have."

From the July 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: On a similar subject, the Planned Parenthood fanatics want you and me to pay for everybody's birth control, so they use John McCain to make that point.

[begin video clip]

ANNOUNCER: Ever use birth control? Then you'll want to hear this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's unfair how the insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?

McCAIN: I don't know enough about it to give you a informed answer.

ANNOUNCER: Planned Parenthood Action Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising, because women deserve quality, affordable health care.

[end video clip]

O'REILLY: OK, listen up. Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice. Why should I or anybody else have to pay for other people's choices? Do I have to buy you dinner before you use the birth control? Give me and every other taxpayer a break, Planned Parenthood.



Fox News, it's eductaional!


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Old 07-22-2008, 11:55 AM   #145
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"Why should I or anybody else have to pay for other people's choices?"
Why should I have to pay so some guy can have sex?

Kiss my ass, O'Reilly.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:56 AM   #146
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Having sex IS medically necessary! Having sex is NOT a choice, well not when a guy does it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #147
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How does anyone take this guy seriously?
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:55 AM   #148
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I couldn't watch the video so I'm not 100% sure what they were talking about. Could someone tell me real quick?
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #149
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That's not the video, it's just a picture

The article explains it- he says Viagra should be covered by insurance because it's for health/medical reasons, but birth control shouldn't because it isn't and it's a choice that he shouldn't have to pay for. In all his infinite wisdom..
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:56 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
That's not the video, it's just a picture

The article explains it- he says Viagra should be covered by insurance because it's for health/medical reasons, but birth control shouldn't because it isn't
One of the few "Conservative" stances I could actually find myself in agreement with (which is a scary thought in itself). The difference being, that I think not covering birth control leaves us in a bigger mess than covering it does, so I support it mainly for pragmatic reasons.
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