We Need More Right-Leaning Sociologists

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Sociology is a field of study that has become a meme on the Right.

Ask any individual to give their thoughts on what constitutes the ideology of modern Sociology, and they’re bound to bring up radical Leftism/Marxism. This is because they’re absolutely correct. Sociology, since the 1960s, has become an ideologically left-wing field of study.

This is not merely a “hot-take” by a handful of right-wingers, but an empirical fact. A study from 2016 found that only 12 out of 6,000 surveyed Sociologists identified as conservative. It doesn’t help that nearly every one of the major names in Sociological thought are the names of historic Left-wing intellectuals: Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, and so on. Sure, there are a few exceptions such as Robert Nisbet and Irving Louis Horowitz who are prominent sociologists on the Right, but for the most part the field is primarily left-wing.

Many conservative pundits and thought-leaders have antagonized the field of sociology and have encouraged students not to pursue the field because of overt Leftist bias. However, this is the exact opposite of what conservatives should be promoting. We NEED more right-leaning sociologists to help enhance the field of social science and to research otherwise unresearched topics that Leftists wouldn’t bother to consider.

A lack of equal participation from both sides of the ideological spectrum has actually allowed the Left to stay a step ahead of the Right in many regards. Take an argument commonly used by American sociology professors entitled “the Model Minority Myth.” The premise of the argument is simple:

Model Minority Myth Argument:

The idea that Asians have a culture that emphasizes hard work to produce good results is a right-wing myth used to perpetuate racial villainization of black people and to ignore historic obstacles that prevent POC from achieving equality of opportunity.

Since Leftists intellectuals are trained in social research and historical analysis, they use these tools to their ideological advantages. With the “Model Minority Myth” argument, they provide evidence that the premise is not based on a strawman (even though it most certainly is) by citing a New York Times article from 1966 which used the word “model minority” in a questionable, albeit, racist context. However, the word is never actually coined by modern American conservative pundits and intellectuals such as Ben Shapiro and Reihan Salam.  To the Left however, this doesn’t really matter. They provided their “evidence”. It was “scientific” and “empirical” and reveals the “uncomfortable history” of right-leaning thought in America.

Not many sociologists have challenged such arguments. One such exception is Thomas Sowell who, years after receiving his PhD in Economics, has spent much of his career as a sociologist in the sense that he writes about social conflict and analysis more often than he does about the principles of economic thought. His book entitled Ethnic America provides key insight into how such groups as the Japanese lost over a billion dollars in net worth as a result of internment camps and regained it all in a single generation without the need for governmental assistance. There is also Gabriel Rossman, a right-leaning Sociology professor at UCLA who writes for the National Review. One of his articles explaining the connection between affordable housing and supply-side economics just goes to show what the political Right is capable of when they pursue intellectualism for its own sake without fear of Leftist backlash. At the end of the day however, the majority of American academia is still in desperate need of conservative voices. And echoing the call for right-leaning sociologists is one of the many ways in which we can alleviate the ideological imbalance.

In brevity, next time a conservative buddy of yours in college comes up to you and says “Ya’ know, I’m thinkin’ about majoring in Sociology”, pat them on the back and offer to buy them a copy of  Nisbet’s The Quest for Community to get them started.

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