OPUS Workshop – Political Correctness : A psychosocial exploration

Political correctness (PC) is one way of policing the thoughts and speech of other people.

Paradoxically, PC did not start on US university campuses and spread east to other predominantly Anglo-Saxon countries. In fact, it has been around for many years in different forms, usually where powerful elites have imposed their will. Stalinist rule of the Soviet Union is a clear example where being politically correct meant a difference between holding onto your career or death by firing squad. The Soviet people learned how to safely walk the thin line along which one was allowed to speak and act so as to totally merge with the declared official orthodoxy and prevailing dogma, and thereby to stay alive.

Why then is a new censorship been willingly and widely accepted by many as “the requisite norm of behaviour” in the West?

What has led those who come from progressive and liberal backgrounds in particular, willingly to impose a new, severe, self-policed censorship upon themselves?

This OPUS led workshop will explore these issues theoretically by asking what PC represents in today’s society and why is it so prevalent? Is it a force for good or is it an oppressive force?

Halina Brunning, Elisabeth Henderson and Simon Western will run this event as an experiential workshop blending theory and new thoughts.


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