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Smagorinksy examines college PC culture on WABE-FM

Kathryn Kao

October 22, 2015


Are college campuses too politically correct?

Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, tackled this hotly debated question on a recent podcast released by WABE-FM.

During a discussion on "Closer Look," Smagorinsky explained what the growing politically correct culture on college campuses really means. While universities have traditionally offered students a place to question the norm, some people believe political correctness has evolved into a form of policing offensive speech, he said.

Even with several public figures, including President Barack Obama and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, weighing in on the growing trend, there is still very little agreement on what PC actually means.

"I think there's so much embedded in language that we have to think about so that we're careful," he said. "I wouldn't say it's not to offend, but to be respectful."

Smagorinsky's work is unified by a sociocultural approach to understanding literary teaching. A major component of his research is the study of written and artistic compositions, as well as group discussions oriented to literary interpretation and interpretive texts.

To listen to the entire podcast, visit WABE's website.