The Political Attitudes of British Academics

Open Quantitative Sociology & Political Science , Jan. 16, 2018, ISSN: 2446-3868


Carl (2017) recently published a report claiming that individuals with left-wing and liberal views are overrepresented in British academia. One weakness of this report was that it relied almost exclusively on party support data. Using data from the 2015 wave of the British Election Study Panel, the present study confirms that the political attitudes of British academics are somewhat more economically left-wing (0.35sd), and are substantially more socially liberal (0.84sd), than those of the general population. It also documents that British academics are substantially more likely to read The Guardian newspaper (the UK’s most left-liberal newspaper) than members of the general population (31 ppts). Adjusting for demographic characteristics, education and openness to experience reduces the difference on social liberalism by 0.19sd, and reduces the difference on Guardian readership by 5 ppts, but increases the difference on economic leftism by 0.05sd.
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education, left-wing, liberal, Academics, political attitudes, openness

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