Monday, 16 April 2007

Academic Idiocy Watch

Every now and then, some obscure academic at one of our great seats of learning comes out with something indescribably stupid. Usually, this has some relationship to the far-left political views which are the norm in academia. Today, Professor Ann Jacoby of Liverpool University has produced quite the most ridiculous piece of "research" that I have seen for some time. The purpose of this research: to demonstrate that villages - all of them - are hotbeds of that most evil of sins (indeed, in the post-modern world, the only sin), prejudice!
Professor Jacoby, a social scientist, said: "The rural idyll is very nice so long as you fit into certain categories, but problematic if you don't.

"You should be married, have children, and live in this conservative family unit."

Well, there's a statement I can quite agree with. I don't think she's talking about her own views, though.

How did Professor Jacoby reach her deeply profound conclusions:
For the study, the professor's colleague, Francine Watkins, spent some time living in Stonycroft, a village with a population of 450, somewhere between London and Birmingham.

The village's name has been changed to protect the identities of those interviewed.

Life in the 16th-century village revolves round the thatched inn, church and village hall. Most of the residents are white. Three-quarters are married or co-habiting.

Heaven forfend! White, married heterosexuals! Such wicked people can't help but be prejudiced.

But, to return to Professor Jacoby's methodology: it seems that her colleague, Miss Watkins, went to one village, found a few malcontents, and then used their whining to smear everyone who lives in the countryside. Not, perhaps, the most accurate method. Rather like tossing a coin once, and then declaring that a coin will always land heads up. But more inaccurate than that.

Obviously the learned professor really earns her £60,000 or so of taxpayers' money per year.

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