Beyond Political Correctness: Toward the Inclusive University


272 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-7748-X
DDC 370.19'34




Edited by Stephen Richer and Lorna Weir

Alexander D. Gregor is associate dean of the Faculty of Education at the
University of Manitoba and co-editor of Postsecondary Education in
Canada: The Cultural Agenda.


There is little question that Canadian universities have been
essentially unguided by any coherent social policy. Although the student
body is now decidedly more heterogeneous than was formerly the case, it
is still far from reflecting the composition of the larger society.
Similarly, the curriculum is still a considerable distance from meeting
the needs of the existing student population, quite apart from the needs
of those groups critics feel should be better represented.

Unfortunately, that important search for solutions will be little
assisted by this book. While there are articulate and insightful
chapters—on matters ranging from academic freedom and the so-called
“critical pedagogy,” to the issues of equity vs. merit and
racism—these individual contributions are organized in a framework
almost certain to offend the general reader. The introduction casts the
debate in the form of a conspiracy theory, setting up a “straw
group” that is using arguments about merit and freedom for the sole
purpose of blocking equity and access. This approach does little to
encourage dialogue, which is further confounded by the use of opaque
academic language (e.g., “problematize,” “canonicity,” “new
meaning entailments”). The book’s unnecessary curtain of jargon
excludes the general reader, while its ideological cast limits appeal to
the converted. It is incumbent on the academic community to present
ideas both lucidly and in a fashion conducive to reasoned debate; that
test is not passed in this instance.


“Beyond Political Correctness: Toward the Inclusive University,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,