Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines and Higher Education

By Park, David W. | Academe, September/October 2004 | Go to article overview

Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines and Higher Education


Park, David W., Academe


Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines and Higher Education

Dane S. Claussen. New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang, 2004

What do we expect of our colleges and universities? And why do we have those expectations? Dane Clausscn's Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines and Higher Education asserts that our ideas concerning higher education in the United States are shaped by the attention that the news media focus on the academy. He presents a thorough analysis of portrayals of college and university life that appeared in the U.S. news media between 1944 and 1998. Given the title of the book, it comes as no surprise that Claussen finds antiintellectualism to be one of the defining themes of these portrayals. He concludes that the American media portray college as an active site for anything but intellectual pursuits. College is described as a place where students have parties, make connections for jobs after graduation, find spouses, and engage in all kinds of social activities, not as a place where they engage in critical thought, do research, or deepen their understandings of the world.

Claussen takes great care to explain anti-intellectualism fully, and to show its relevance to the news media's depiction of higher education. The most important touchstone in his discussion is Richard Hofstadter's seminal Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Though there are important differences between the two books, Clausscn's empirical discussion treats types of anti-intellectualism that can be traced directly to Hofstadter's work: religious antirationalism, populist antielitism, and unreflective instrumentalism, or the tendency to value thought only for its practical or material yield. Claussen's work advances beyond Hofstadter's by telling us why we should care what the media have to say about intellectualism and higher education. Whereas debates concerning intellectuals and education have too often considered their topics in a cultural vacuum, Claussen shows that the news media have the power to establish the terms on which higher education is judged.

The research takes the form of a textual analysis of stories about intellectuals, anti-intcllcctualisni, and higher education that appeared in Reader's Digest, Ladies Home Journal, Time, LJJe, and Nation's Business. Claussen carefully justifies this research design and includes a helpful appendix that describes the research process. His approach has its limits, and as a result Claussen is sometimes left without sufficient support for his points. To reduce such a broad cultural pattern as antiintellectualism to examples found in five magazines is to turn away from many other examples that might be presumed to offer a more prointellectual point of view.

Despite these limitations, Claussen establishes that mainstream media coverage of higher education lines up quite closely with the classic typology of U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines and Higher Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.