The Public Interest

Hard Realities and Soft Social Science

Harry L. Miller

Spring 1980

THE universities have been quiet for almost a decade, but a legacy of the 1960’s far more significant than campus turbulence now troubles academia. Many young faculty and graduate students of that earlier period are now in established positions in the social sciences and in such applied fields as education and social work. Their basic commitment to the use of the university and its disciplines in the service of an unrelenting political activism provides the framework for many of the serious controversies in the journals in both pure and applied social science. Explanations of social phenomena that became familiar in the 1930’s, as significant numbers of American intellectuals turned radical, have been increasingly carried to extremes, and social-scientific differences of judgment are transformed into major wars.

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