This independent study examines the historical development of the divisive social issue of political correctness, and current attitudes toward political correctness on The College of Wooster campus. Most students and faculty can loosely define political correctness as a form of social inhibition regarding the use of certain words, phrases, and expressions that have been deemed offensive. It becomes a polemical issue, however, in two distinct ways. One, when the political implications of the repression of certain terms are understood differently, and to some, understood to be unfair, and two, when the value of tolerance toward offensive speech is not agreed upon. Who is to say when something is offensive? And what right do they have to silence another individual for something that many may not find offensive? This study examines The College of Wooster student and faculty attitudes toward political correctness using a quantitative survey with questions based on existing literature, studies, and theory. Political correctness is an inescapable, but constantly evolving, issue, and the goal of this study is to get a sense of where The College of Wooster stands on the matter.


Tierney, Thomas


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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