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> Princeton expands black studies program..., Is this a legitimate field?
JLord
post Sep 22 2006, 09:02 PM
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Princeton University, one of the leading universities in black studies, yesterday announced an expansion in its program, including at least a doubling in the number of faculty members, the introduction of a major for undergraduates and the creation of a new center for teaching and research on race in America.

Shirley M. Tilghman, Princeton’s president, said in a telephone interview yesterday that she hoped the effort would help the university contribute greater insights to issues like the nature of racial identity and help train a “new generation of leaders to solve problems that have persisted too long.”

“Of all the challenges that confront America, none is more profound than the struggle to achieve racial equality and understand the impact of race on the life and institutions of the United States,” she said.

{snip}

Princeton said it had offered a certificate in African-American studies for 37 years, but was the only Ivy League university that did not offer an undergraduate major in the field. Faculty members in the African-American studies program must currently also hold appointments in formal departments.

The announcement, which grew out of a report by a Princeton faculty committee on African-American studies appointed last year, is sure to heat up the rivalry in the discipline between Princeton and Harvard.

For many years, Harvard was seen as the leader in the field, thanks to the efforts of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a literary and cultural scholar who in the early 1990’s took over a program on the verge of collapse and assembled members of a faculty often described as a “dream team.”

Besides himself, it included Kwame Anthony Appiah, a philosopher; Cornel West, a leading public intellectual and professor of religion; and William Julius Wilson, a well-known public policy expert.

But a few years ago, Professor Appiah and Professor West defected to Princeton. Professor Appiah left for personal reasons, and Professor West after a falling-out in 2001 with Harvard’s president, Lawrence H. Summers.

{snip}

The African-American studies program at Princeton will not become an academic department, but a center with the authority to hire its own faculty members. It plans to offer an undergraduate major within five years. It will have 11 slots for faculty members; that means it could have 11 people whose appointments are only with the center, or 22 professors with appointments split between the center and a department, or some combination. The program now has only five slots for faculty members.

The program will also get a new home at the center of campus.


I black studies a legitimate field? Or is it just something created so that schools can hire more black profs and attract more black students? Obviously studying race relations, black history, civil rights, etc, are things that are worthy of study, but why can't people study such things in regular history, anthropology, political science, and sociology departments? Your thoughts?

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zkajan
post Sep 22 2006, 09:06 PM
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it's as legitimate as any of a dozen shitty majors with no real career that comes out of it (other than maybe becoming a teacher of that major) that universities offer for people:
- who are rich through family and therefore don't need to work for a living
- poor and plan on staying that way
- middle class and stupid as a brick
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Jew
post Sep 22 2006, 09:29 PM
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zka,

If you graduate from Princeton, you probably can get a high paying job in most fields... Does it make you angry that these people when they graduate with a degree in Negrology will earn more than you do or will?

Now, as for is it useful for society, maybe... But in most cases it produces fuckheads...
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Y2A
post Sep 22 2006, 09:42 PM
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I actually had a "Black Studies" major classmate in a required writing class I took last year....definately a useless major. One of the stupidest persons I have seen at Rutgers.
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 22 2006, 09:53 PM
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completely worthless and designed by east coast radicals. it is uninspiring and mostly jibberish. the overall faculty quality is extremely poor. this is a field where cornel west can get a tenure with low quantity and quality of research (and larry summers, the genius economist/former president of harvard agrees and forced him out).

This post has been edited by miltonfriedman: Sep 22 2006, 09:58 PM
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Telum
post Sep 22 2006, 10:25 PM
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Isnt this already part of sociology?
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zkajan
post Sep 22 2006, 11:51 PM
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QUOTE(Jew @ Sep 22 2006, 05:29 PM) [snapback]413629[/snapback]

zka,

If you graduate from Princeton, you probably can get a high paying job in most fields... Does it make you angry that these people when they graduate with a degree in Negrology will earn more than you do or will?

Now, as for is it useful for society, maybe... But in most cases it produces fuckheads...

if you graduate from Princeton or from Bunker Hill Community college with degree in Negrology, as you so put it, you're prospects range from McDonalds to Burger King
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necrolyte
post Sep 23 2006, 02:42 AM
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I could imagine it being a useful major as the problems faced by the Black community are unique, as are their responses to them. Not only that, but their segregated place has resulted in them forming a seperate culture. Thats the general jist of most ethnic studies I've come across.
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 23 2006, 03:16 AM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Sep 22 2006, 08:42 PM) [snapback]413683[/snapback]

I could imagine it being a useful major as the problems faced by the Black community are unique, as are their responses to them. Not only that, but their segregated place has resulted in them forming a seperate culture. Thats the general jist of most ethnic studies I've come across.

you know what would help the blacks? more science teachers.
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RightWing
post Sep 23 2006, 04:56 AM
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QUOTE(miltonfriedman @ Sep 23 2006, 03:16 AM) [snapback]413685[/snapback]

you know what would help the blacks? more science teachers.



AGREED!
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Jew
post Sep 23 2006, 05:46 AM
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QUOTE(zkajan @ Sep 22 2006, 07:51 PM) [snapback]413664[/snapback]

if you graduate from Princeton or from Bunker Hill Community college with degree in Negrology, as you so put it, you're prospects range from McDonalds to Burger King

Perhaps it should be so, but they actually get pretty good jobs with thier connections...
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necrolyte
post Sep 23 2006, 07:14 AM
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QUOTE(miltonfriedman @ Sep 23 2006, 03:16 AM) [snapback]413685[/snapback]

you know what would help the blacks? more science teachers.


Of course. Does that make this field illegitimate? It doesn't mean we should remove literature, cultural anthropology, sociology, language studies, women's studies or economics either. Its not a zero sum game.

Dude, zkajan, do we have any statistics showing that people with African American studies get shit jobs? Anyways, the job market alone should never be the sole determinant of things like this. Its an important factor, but not the only. Teaching gives tenure, but hardly pays well compared to some other jobs, yet we don't remove education departments. No doubt teaching is more useful than some bloke understanding the impact of slavery on American culture and African American self-identity, however that doesn't make the latter in any way an illegitimate field of study.

This post has been edited by necrolyte: Sep 23 2006, 07:17 AM
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 23 2006, 02:50 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Sep 23 2006, 01:14 AM) [snapback]413695[/snapback]

Of course. Does that make this field illegitimate? It doesn't mean we should remove literature, cultural anthropology, sociology, language studies, women's studies or economics either. Its not a zero sum game.


yes we should. for one, economics, anthropology, sociology, and linguistics are all part of the initiatives for strategic improvement under National SCIENCE Foundation. Negrology is still very much a joke and consensus is that it is totally worthless and moreover, you think it is of some use. Together we can draw a very strong conclusion that it is a bullshit field.

This post has been edited by miltonfriedman: Sep 23 2006, 02:56 PM
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necrolyte
post Sep 23 2006, 07:23 PM
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Perhaps reform the field, I don't see why "Negrology" as you call it is useless as a field of study.
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Skunk
post Sep 23 2006, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE(miltonfriedman @ Sep 22 2006, 04:53 PM) [snapback]413631[/snapback]

this is a field where cornel west can get a tenure with low quantity and quality of research (and larry summers, the genius economist/former president of harvard agrees and forced him out).


I remember when that happened. Wasn't West's response that he didn't have time to do research or teach because he was busy with his rap/spoken word album?

This post has been edited by Skunk: Sep 23 2006, 10:06 PM
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Y2A
post Sep 24 2006, 04:18 AM
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Wikipage on black studies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_studies
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 24 2006, 04:18 AM
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QUOTE(Skunk @ Sep 23 2006, 04:05 PM) [snapback]413752[/snapback]

I remember when that happened. Wasn't West's response that he didn't have time to do research or teach because he was busy with his rap/spoken word album?

he was too busy promoting himself.

QUOTE
Perhaps reform the field, I don't see why "Negrology" as you call it is useless as a field of study.


well, well, well, who here is suprised that necrolyte can't see the problem?
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Ralph Wiggum
post Sep 24 2006, 04:35 AM
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African American Studies, as it is called here (I would give them a lot of money if they changed that name to Negrology), is the major that football players and people in the black frats take so they can avoid doing real work, which they will be doing the rest of their lives (ie, construction and other such jobs if they don't go into the service industry).

And don't say it, reading Heidegger and Satre is not easy.
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Russian
post Sep 24 2006, 05:36 AM
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what about other cultural studies majors?

Gender studies, Jewish studies...
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Telum
post Sep 24 2006, 05:54 AM
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QUOTE(Russian @ Sep 24 2006, 01:36 AM) [snapback]413796[/snapback]

what about other cultural studies majors?

Gender studies, Jewish studies...


All utterly useless.
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necrolyte
post Sep 24 2006, 06:36 AM
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Lib-is that because the field is useless or because the classes are not strenuous enough?

Telum-they could all certainly be useful, could they not? A greater understanding of how unique problems have shaped certain groups and their cultures is not useless as an idea, if the application results in it being useless.

QUOTE(miltonfriedman @ Sep 24 2006, 04:18 AM) [snapback]413781[/snapback]

well, well, well, who here is suprised that necrolyte can't see the problem?


Do you actually have an argument? Who here is suprised that you have no argument beyond childish flames?
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Ralph Wiggum
post Sep 24 2006, 06:39 AM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Sep 24 2006, 02:36 AM) [snapback]413805[/snapback]

Lib-is that because the field is useless or because the classes are not strenuous enough

basically, yes.
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 24 2006, 01:08 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Sep 24 2006, 12:36 AM) [snapback]413805[/snapback]


Do you actually have an argument? Who here is suprised that you have no argument beyond childish flames?

the argument has already been laid out, which is why you agreed that the field needs to be "reformed" after comparing negrology to scientific fields such as linguisitcs and economics. kindly contain your passive aggressive flames to yourself and stop trying to defend a program that you dont even believe in out of the sheer persistence of being a misguided liberal.
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jcrow
post Sep 24 2006, 02:28 PM
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Wow. Didn't know that black studies was an "illegitimate" field of study. Just like I didn't know that economics was a scientific field (unless there's a way to adequately test economic theories I wasn't aware of) There are all sorts of ethnic, religious and historical studies program available at reputable universities, and I find it interesting that you people find a problem with a private university expanding an already existing program, one that is dedicated to a large segment of the US population.

Or maybe you all are right. Colleges are supposes to be diploma mills that will get you work at some corporate high-rise, not institutions of intellectual preservation, transmission and growth. From now on, we should invest all our money in trade schools, dismantle all programs not related to science, law or finances.
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Telum
post Sep 24 2006, 02:43 PM
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QUOTE(jcrow @ Sep 24 2006, 10:28 AM) [snapback]413836[/snapback]

Wow. Didn't know that black studies was an "illegitimate" field of study.

Your loss.

QUOTE
ust like I didn't know that economics was a scientific field

Perhaps your lack of knowledge is because you majored in black studies?

QUOTE

here are all sorts of ethnic, religious and historical studies program available at reputable universities

And all are a waste

QUOTE
Or maybe you all are right. Colleges are supposes to be diploma mills that will get you work at some corporate high-rise, not institutions of intellectual preservation, transmission and growth. From now on, we should invest all our money in trade schools, dismantle all programs not related to science, law or finances.


Yeah, because if its not a trade, it must be useless. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)


The fact is, all of the ethnic programs could be rolled into anthropology. Nothing prevents one from focusing on a certain group in their studies, but simply studying black (or jewish, or gender, etc) is a waste of a person's education.
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jcrow
post Sep 24 2006, 02:57 PM
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QUOTE(Telum @ Sep 24 2006, 02:43 PM) [snapback]413838[/snapback]

Perhaps your lack of knowledge is because you majored in black studies?


No, it was in biology, but economic theories as a rule cannot be tested in a lab setting, so it is NOT actually a hard science, just another liberal arts program

QUOTE
And all are a waste


Only to those dilettantes who can only think about those subjects in the abstract.

QUOTE
Yeah, because if its not a trade, it must be useless. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)


No, not useless, but if a university is only made up of job programs, then it's just a trade school, not a true institution of higher learning.

QUOTE
The fact is, all of the ethnic programs could be rolled into anthropology. Nothing prevents one from focusing on a certain group in their studies, but simply studying black (or jewish, or gender, etc) is a waste of a person's education.


And biochemistry, genetics, mycology, ornithology, phytology, virology, zoology, physiology, histology and anatomy programs can all be rolled into one huge biology class (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)

There are intro classes, then you have specific areas. I shouldn't be the one to tell you this.
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 24 2006, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE(jcrow @ Sep 24 2006, 08:57 AM) [snapback]413841[/snapback]

No, it was in biology, but economic theories as a rule cannot be tested in a lab setting, so it is NOT actually a hard science, just another liberal arts program


I think the Nobel committee would be suprised to hear that, consider that 2002 recipients were:

Daniel Kahneman:
for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty"

Vernon Smith:
"for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms"


Once again, the National SCIENCE recognizes economics as a legitimate strategic science field that should receive priority funding, whereas negrology is a place for dumbasses to earn a degree.
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jcrow
post Sep 24 2006, 03:35 PM
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Then why is economics listed as liberal arts course in pretty much all major universities? Sure you can utilize neuroscience to test human impulses concerning economic choices, but there is almost no way to make a "laboratory" test of theory on a macro scale. The best you can do is create models based on past experiences.
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miltonfriedman
post Sep 24 2006, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE(jcrow @ Sep 24 2006, 09:35 AM) [snapback]413847[/snapback]

Then why is economics listed as liberal arts course in pretty much all major universities? Sure you can utilize neuroscience to test human impulses concerning economic choices, but there is almost no way to make a "laboratory" test of theory on a macro scale. The best you can do is create models based on past experiences.

oh, jcrow, jcrow, jcrow, you will always remember your first, and milty always leaves good memmory. to wit:

QUOTE
Then why is economics listed as liberal arts course in pretty much all major universities


same as sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and psychology. These fields were bore out of philosophy, and you can still discuss them without using much of science. Nontheless, the National SCIENCE Foundation recognizes that these fields are now heavily involved in utilizing scientific method and laboratory experiments.

QUOTE
Sure you can utilize neuroscience to test human impulses concerning economic choices, but there is almost no way to make a "laboratory" test of theory on a macro scale.


gasp!! Like there is no way to test if galaxy is supposed to be what we think it is? Or that many of the physics theory cannot be experimented? Or, by god, there is no way to test if species are evolved vis-a-vis their environment?

You use lab experiments to test one specific theory by teasing out the confounds existed in the natural environment. By definition, lab experiment is used so that we DON'T want to test our theories on a macro scale.

QUOTE
The best you can do is create models based on past experiences.


Like the theory of evolution, right?
But ignorance aside, please tell me why using past behaviors for future prediction makes it a non-science? Please, this is not even a legitimate argument.
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jcrow
post Sep 24 2006, 06:37 PM
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Now, now, now, evolution has been proven using the scientific method, the same can't be said for any number of economic theories. Is there a laboratory to prove which economic system is better for a society?

In the one micro class I took, they actually tried teaching me the Laffer Curve. I would have walked out of that class if I didn't need it for pharmacy school. Perhaps the Laffer Curve might apply at the extremes, but it is just a model whose theories can't be adequately tested out in the real world.
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