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Encyclopedia > Academic elitism

Academic institutions often face the charge of academic elitism, sometimes called the Ivory Tower. A lesser and broader form of this, intellectual elitism, exists in non-academic circles, so academic elitism might also be viewed as a further extreme of intellectual elitism, depending upon one's perspective. Academic institution is an educational institution dedicated to higher education and research, which grants academic degrees. ... The term Ivory Tower designates a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. ...



Academic elitism suggests that in highly competitive academic environments only those individuals who have engaged in scholarship are deemed to have anything worthwhile to say, or do. It suggests that individuals who have not engaged in such scholarship are cranks. Scholarly method - or as it is more commonly called, scholarship - is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public. ... Crank is a pejorative term for a person who holds some belief which the vast majority of his contemporaries would consider false, clings to this belief in the face of all counterarguments or evidence presented to him. ...


Academic elitism will often be expressed within communities through declarations of "Otherness", that is, non-academics will be said to be 'not good as us'. Non-academics may be represented as a danger to quality in research, and their perceived lower standard of education can lead to them being considered as members of a lower social grouping. This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ...

The tendency towards academic elitism is most pronounced in highly competitive and highly regarded research environments. The peer review of academia process is occasionally cited[citation needed] as suppressing dissent against “mainstream” theories (part of an overall system of suppression of intellectual dissent). Some sociologists of science argue that peer review makes the ability to publish susceptible to control by elites and to personal jealousy. Reviewers tend to be especially critical of conclusions that contradict their own views, and lenient towards those that accord with them. At the same time, elite scientists are more likely than less established ones to be sought out as referees, particularly by high-prestige journals or publishers. As a result, it has been argued, ideas that harmonize with the elite's are more likely to see print and to appear in premier journals than are iconoclastic or revolutionary ones, which accords with Thomas Kuhn's well-known observations regarding scientific revolutions. Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a scholarly process used in the publication of manuscripts and in the awarding of funding for research. ... Mainstream is, generally, the common current of thought of the majority. ... In any debate, sometimes the more powerful opponent will try to silence the other rather than trying to defeat their arguments. ... Science and technology studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary research area that is broadly concerned with the depiction of science and technology as socially embedded enterprises. ... Look up elite, élite in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A conclusion can have various specific meanings depending on the context. ... This article should be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ...

The tendency towards academic elitism is noticeable in some education systems (particularly in developed countries). More attention and resources are afforded to students who are deemed most intelligent at an early age. This inequality tends to further separate the elite from the remainder of society. Streaming systems include branded institutions, gifted classes, and other elite student groups. Countries with extensive private school systems also exemplify this trend. Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgement and wisdom. ... In education, streaming is the application of varied teaching methods to different groups of classroom students according to each groups abilities. ...


Academic elitist views and beliefs may come from a variety of sources.

See also

Elitism, Ivory Tower,
Contrary views
Anti-intellectualism, Expert
Ivy League, Little Ivies, Southern Ivies

Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of persons with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or... The term Ivory Tower designates a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. ... Anti-intellectualism describes a sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. ... Look up expert in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the record label, see Ivy League Records. ... Little Ivies is a colloquialism to refer to a group of small, selective American colleges and universities; however, it does not denote any official organization. ... Southern Ivies is a colloquialism used to imply a Southern college or university is comparable to the schools of the Ivy League in some way, usually in academic quality or in social prestige. ...

External articles and references

Pubiched articles
  • Adams, Mike S., "Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel: Confessions of a Conservative College Professor". Harbor House, 2004, ISBN 1-891799-17-7
  • Bair, Jeffrey H.,and Myron Boor, "The Academic Elite in Law: Linkages Among Top-Ranked Law Schools". Psychological Reports 68: 891-94, 1991.
  • Bair, Jeffrey H., "The Hiring practices in finance education: linkages among top-ranked graduate programs - The University". American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April, 2003.
  • Best, Gerard A., "Breaking down the Ivory tower". Caribbean Beat, Issue No. 76, November/December 2005.
  • Bramble, Tom, "Class and power in the ivory tower". Australian Universities Review (unpublished), University of Queensland.
  • Cornwell, Reid, "The Invisible University or Academic Elitism". (.doc)
  • Hylden, Jordan L., and John H. Jernigan, "Leaning Ivory Tower; The most troubling bias among academics is not political but religious". Havard Political Review, 6/8/03.
  • Keally, Charles T., "Academic Elitists and Elite Academics: An Essay". Sophia International Review no. 28, 2006.
  • Lewis, Lionel, "The Academic Elite Goes to Washington, and to War; Critics of the academy have lambasted faculty doves. History shows that academia has roosted a flock of hawks". American Association of University Professors.
  • Lin, Xi, "The academic elite; Cynicism and disillusionment are protocol for UW elites". The Daily of the University of Washington, 1998.
  • Newitz, Annalee, "Ivory Tower| Out of academia". Salon.com, 2000.
  • Schrecker, Ellen W., "No Ivory Tower : McCarthyism and the Universities". 1986. ISBN 0-19-503557-7
  • Sprain, Leah, "Sending Signals from the Ivory Tower: Barriers to Connecting Academic Research to the Public". (PDF)
  • The Authority On Ivory Towers and Elitism

  Results from FactBites:
Academic elitism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (837 words)
Academic elitism suggests that in highly competitive academic environments only those individuals who have engaged in scholarship are deemed to have anything worthwhile to say, or do.
Elitism is an illusion which masks an inherent human tendency to group by abilities and interests.
Xi Lin, "The academic elite; Cynicism and disillusionment are protocol for UW elites".
Elitism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (473 words)
Elitism may also be used to convey a less rational and more purely arrogant sense of entitlement to better treatment owing to wealth, social standing, etc.
The term elitism is also used to refer to situations where a group of people who claim to possess high abilities or simply an in-group or cadre conspire to give themselves extra privileges at the expense of all other people.
Elitism in the context of education is the practice of concentrating attention on or allocating funding to the students who rank highest in a particular field of endeavour, the other students being deemed less worthy of attention.
  More results at FactBites »



Reid Cornwell
3rd November 2010
The reference list for this article contains the item: Cornwell, Reid, "The Invisible University or Academic Elitism". (.doc)

The correct link is the following:

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