According to two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, our moral culture recently underwent a seismic shift. Rather than upholding appropriate standards of honor and dignity, we now inflate trifling slights into allegations of victimization. Minor grievances of all sorts are showcased in cyberspace in an effort to garner sympathy and support. This “new species of social control,” they maintain, threatens an America where weakness suddenly rules....
Typically, Campbell and Manning’s evidence is anecdotal and relies on conflating substantively different forms of dissent. They lump together hunger strikes, hate crime hoaxes, protest suicides and microaggressions as comparable illustrations of this cultural turn. More importantly, microaggressions, trigger warnings and even the controversy over Woodrow Wilson’s legacy are not the ultimate target of this critique.
This Campbell and Manning paper is all sorts of dreadful. Details to follow, but if you want a taste now, here is something fun from the 14th footnote:
Gender studies scholar Hugo Schwyzer, in an essay critical of this phenomenon, complains that “too many of my students insist on writing essays that I can only describe as ‘narratives of suffering.’
Yeah, that would be this Hugo Schwyzer.
Comical, and minor, but symptomatic: this is a remarkably glib article.
Again, more to follow.