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Do you have the numbers on the exact percentages? Would be interesting to look at.

I'm fairly certain that if you look historically, left-wingers will be over-represented in academia fairly consistently throughout most societies. In my opinion, the only explanation to this can be the Idealism point.

Taking your word on the fact that this relationship has strengthened recently, that could potentially be the effect of the other two factors coming into play. Sociology would be a good example where conforming to the dominant ideology is necessary to get ahead. Thus, even starting with a slight left bias will create a feedback loop, which over time would strengthen this bias.

Might also be interesting to dig into how tenure, and other such incentives have changed over time.







Do you have the numbers on the exact percentages? Would be interesting to look at.


Well, until the 1950s the British Parliament had university constituencies. Oxford consistently returned Tories. Cambridge was reasonably even until the 20th century, when it when strait Conservative/Tory.
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VoiceOfRa
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Do you have the numbers on the exact percentages? Would be interesting to look at.

According to Ladd&Lipset study, in the 1968-1972 period Democrats outnumbered Republicans 4:1 in humanities and social sciences. That ratio changed to 8:1 in 2003 (Klein&Stern). I don't have the statistics on the earlier periods, but based on the indirect evidence I believe the split used to be more even.
Thus, even starting with a slight left bias will create a feedback loop, which over time would strengthen this bias.

This sounds very similar to Robert Conquest's Second Law: "Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing."
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melian
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