Social science on the perilous whiteness of pumpkins

Yes, now for something completely ridiculous: From Margaret Wente at Canada’s Globe and Mail:

I learned about the true meaning of the pumpkin-spiced latte in a scholarly paper, called The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins. It was peer-reviewed and published in a genuine academic journal. Lisa Jordan Powell, its lead author, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia. “Starbucks PSLs are products of coffee shop culture, with its gendered and racial codes,” it warns. They make up just one part of the “pumpkin entertainment complex, whose multiple manifestations continue the entanglements of pumpkins, social capital, race, and place.”

Ms. Powell (who did not respond to an offer to comment on her paper) is merely one of countless academics toiling in the fertile field of race and gender studies. I don’t mean to pick on her in particular. Like everybody else, she must publish or perish. They churn out this stuff like Halloween candy. We pay for it.

Vast tracts of the social sciences have gone insane. If you doubt it, I urge you to check out New Real Peer Review, a Twitter feed whose purpose is to expose the absurdity of what passes for scholarly research. It’s run by a small team of anonymous academics who fear their careers will suffer if people know who they are. They have no shortage of material. Their greatest hit to date is a piece claiming that glaciology – the study of glaciers – is misogynist, and that we need to “feminize” it. (Some people thought that paper was a hoax, but sadly it was not.)More.

From O’Leary for News Well, if you guys wanna pay for this kind of “science,” you go ahead. I am investing in pumpkin futures.

It’s a good thing the world no longer has problems.

See also: Objectivity is sexist. (So, we suspect, is homework.)


All sides agree: progressive politics is strangling social sciences