A good term paper topic is to discuss how political correctness can be beneficial and destructive. A benefit is that people make sure to use unbiased, politically correct terms and nondiscriminatory language so as not to hurt or denigrate other ethnic or racial groups. A disadvantage is when political correctness is taken to an extreme to curb creativity and prevent free speech.
Here are some good research paper topics for you to write about ways political correctness is used in law enforcement, the media and sports.
Political correctness in the law
A topic for your term paper is to research the ways in which strict adherence to political correctness hinders law and order. In a horrific case of systemic child sexual abuse in the British town of Rotherham, police and social workers for years ignored and refused to investigate accusations that young girls in state care were being drugged and sexually assaulted. A wrinkle to the case was that the victims were white and the perpetrators were Pakistani.
“The result of this has been that police forces lean over backwards to avoid the accusation of racism, while social workers will hesitate to intervene in any case in which they could be accused of discriminating against ethnic minorities,” wrote Roger Scruton in “Why Did British Police Ignore Pakistani Gangs Abusing 1,400 Rotherham Children? Political Correctness,” posted August 30, 2014, in Forbes.com. “Let slip the mere hint that Pakistani Muslims are more likely than indigenous Englishmen to commit sexual crimes and you will be branded as a racist and an Islamophobe, to be ostracised in the workplace,” added Scruton.
Political correctness in the media
For your term paper you could also pick one of the many instances of political correctness in the media. The media often struggles between giving its writers, performers, comedians and artists the creative freedom to express themselves. Yet when someone goes over the line, they are criticized for being insensitive to a gender, religion, race or ethnicity.
A famous recent case involved the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The paper published, what some considered, religiously insensitive cartoons about the prophet Mohammad. The newspaper’s offices were attacked numerous times; in 2015, 12 people were killed. People around the world debated the value of freedom of speech versus sensitivity to other cultures. President Obama called on Americans to refrain from insulting the religion of others, which some considered anathema to the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
A commentator in the article, “Anxious sensitivity,” posted February 11, 2015, in The Economist, said, “But that’s not quite how freedom of expression works. Exercising judgment over what one says or does makes some common sense, but this is a matter of personal desire, not public command. Rights are not about civility or manners or being sensitive; they’re about unbending individual freedoms.”
Political correctness in sports
A recent debate about political correctness in sports is the NFL football team, Redskins. As the word is a derogatory term referring to Native Americans, many people want the Washington team to change the name. Others say it’s just a name that has been entrenched in football culture, and there are plenty of more pressing things to worry about than the name of a football team.
Political correctness can also be accused of being a distraction. After 50 U.S. Senators sent a letter to the team’s management urging them to change the name, Roger Hite wrote the editorial “Senate Frets about Redskins as Real Ills Fester” in Eugene, Oregon’s newspaper The Register Guard saying: “One has to question senators’ priorities when they take the time to weigh in on the issue of whether it is politically correct for a football team to retain its 80-year-old name because some feel it is offensive to Native Americans… Congress ought to spend its time on the really significant problems facing our country, not contrived political issues.”
Check out Questia’s library on issues dealing with Political Correctness.
Do you think political correctness has its place or is it a distraction? Tell us in the comments.