Politically correct

DEFINITION

Developed in the mass media, these terms came into use in the 1980s to describe those who seek a social transformation in various ways: challenging the canon to which the traditional curriculum had adhered (demanding the inclusion of studies of non-mainstream cultures), traditional notions of identity (race, gender, class, and sexuality), as well as sensitivity to unconscious racism and sexism and to environmental concerns. The momentum of this movement came largely from the political left, and from intense debates taking place on college and university campuses. Although there is no defensible ground on which to disagree with its spirit, this movement has been derided as a form of thought-police ? for its demands of adherence to a party line.Quote: "Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this." Doris Lessing (1919-), British novelist. Sunday Times: Books, London, May 10, 1992. "During the years 1945-1965 (I am referring to Europe), there was a certain way of thinking correctly, a certain style of political discourse, a certain ethics of the intellectual. One had to be on familiar terms with Marx, not let one's dreams stray too far from Freud.... These were the... requirements that made the strange occupation of writing and speaking a measure of truth about oneself and one's time acceptable." Michel Foucault (1926-1984), French philosopher. Gilles Deleuze and F?lix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Preface, 1972. "The thing has been blown up out of all proportion. PC language is not enjoined on one and all ? there are a lot more places where you can say "spic" and "bitch" with impunity than places where you can smoke a cigarette." Katharine Whitehorn (1926-), British journalist. Observer, London, Aug. 25, 1991. Also see ethnocentrism, feminism and feminist art, gender issues, heterodox, multiculturalism, orthodox, pluralism, xenophilia, transgressive art, and xenophobia.

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