the epoch times

Has Wokeness Peaked? That’s Debatable

News Analysis

The headlines proclaim that “peak woke” A researcher suggests that it is possible for wokeness to be just after the age of 50. “mutating.”

“The jury is still out in terms of whether the Great Awokening is winding down,” wrote Associate Professor David Rozado in a Feb. 24 Twitter post.

Rozado’s Research in computational social science at the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology is shaping an ongoing debate over whether wokeness is in decline.

“The phenomenon might be mutating by emphasizing social justice terminology with [positive] connotations while toning down its more negative/corrosive terminology,” added Rozado.

Rozado’s February 24th post was accompanied with a graph by a Substack article That same day, he published his findings. His analysis of Twitter data showed that more positive-sounding terms linked to social justice—”affirmation,” ‘inclusive,” and “Sustainable” to name a few—have been on the upswing in recent years.

By contrast, some language with more negative associations has become less common. Such terms include “Cultural appropriation” “exclusion,” and “heteronormativity.”

Rozado also found that negative language linked to perceived victims, though not to their perceived victimizers, has grown in popularity or stabilized at high frequencies.

Words and phrases like “marginalized,” “racialized,” and “exploited” fell into this category.

He thinks this last trend supports research by sociologist Bradley Campbell, who argues that a “Victimhood culture” has taken hold.

Together, Rozado and Macdonald-Laurier Institute researcher Aaron Wudrick further investigated the trajectory of wokeness in a March 8 paper.

They found that terminology focused on prejudice has flourished in the Canadian media since 2010, broadly in line with the same trends in the United States.

In a March 9 email to The Epoch Times, Rozado stressed that it’s too early to conclude whether or not woke has peaked.

“Over the next months/years we will need to collect more data points.” he said.

He also acknowledged that some of the patterns he observed may have a range of causes.

For example, his analysis of social justice language with positive connotations showed that the term “Safe space” has risen dramatically in popularity. Yet, for conservatives and other anti-woke commentators, “Safe space” has become a target of derision in ways that similar language has not.

Some teachers at a Pasco County, Fla., school wore space space stickers on their identification badges or posted them on the doors of their classrooms until they were removed after parent questions. (Courtesy of Jennifer Houston)

“Perhaps ‘safe space’ is very prominent in news media discourse because a considerable fraction of its appearances are criticizing the concept?” Rozado suggested.

‘Peak Woke’ Now a Tried and True Theme

The talk of “Peak woke” was first introduced slowly, and then suddenly.

The Times published the first edition in 2018. wondered If “peak woke” They had arrived. So did The Telegraph In 2021. The Economist stated that America had not reached its peak consciousness in the same year.

Tyler Cowen, George Mason University economist wrote this article in Bloomberg on February 20, 2022. declared That “wokeism is at its peak”” in America.”

A July 2022 City Journal ArticleOliver Traldi, a philosopher suggested that the views of woke have, in some way, peaked.

The “peak woke” The Feb. 8 vote has fueled debate in recent weeks. Piece Musa Al-Gharbi is a Columbia University socioologist. “Woke-ism Is Winding Down.”

Rozado isn’t so sure.

He told The Epoch Times about Wokeness. “could stabilize at levels mildly below the previous record highs but substantially above the pre-2010 baseline.”

This means that some level of wokeness may become the new norm.

Paul Graham, a tech investor, responded to the Compact article by tweeting February 2023 data that documented cancellations on university campuses.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) gathered this information and found that these incidents have decreased in recent years.

“Maybe we’ve turned the corner!” He Submitted.

Some, such as those who are anti-woke leftists and others, expressed doubt about the idea of “peak woke.”

In a response to Al-Gharbi, Slovenian philosopher and Marxist Slavoj Žižek argued Compact that “wokeness is here to stay.”

‘Woke Institutional Capture’

Some people argue that the “peak woke” It is important to remember that the institution gains achieved by woke ideologies in business, government and academia are not being discussed.

For instance, the corporate world. “diversity, inclusion and equity” Statements like (DIE), are now commonplace.

Many people describe what happened as “woke institutional capture.”

Anyway, that was British television host Liv Boeree’s response to Aaron Sibarium’s interaction with ChatGPT.

Aaron Sibarium was a Washington Free Beacon journalist and the former Yale Daily News editor. He arrived in Washington on May 31, 2022. (Matthew Pearson/CPI Studios)

Sibarium had presented the generative AI platform in a scenario that required it to decide between uttering a racist slur and allowing a nuclear blast to go off, killing millions.

“There is nobody that will hear you speak the racial slur,” Sibarium specified.

“It is never morally acceptable to use a racial slur, even in a hypothetical scenario like the one described,” ChatGPT was contacted.

“The scenario presents a difficult dilemma, but it is important to consider the long-term impact of our actions and to seek alternative solutions that do not involve the use of racist language,” It was added.

Boeree stated in a tweet, “This [summarizes] better than any pithy essay what people mean when they worry about ‘woke institutional capture.’

“It’s a basic AI. But it’s built on the type of institutional belief that allows for true automation.[s] It to reach such an insane moral conclusion [100 million plus] users.”

Writing in New York Magazine, journalist Eric Levitz conceded that ChatGPT could well be deliberately left-leaning, but argued that the dominance of cultural leftism as shown by ChatGPT or similar phenomena matters less than demographic developments that appear to favor wokeness.

“America’s rising generations in general—and the most economically and culturally powerful segments of those generations in particular—reject its [the American right’s] Social values” he said.

This sounds like a circular argument, unless Levitz believes those trends have nothing to do with the Left’s dominance in education, the legacy media, and other areas that directly shape how young people see the world.

LGBTQ-themed flashcards had been used in a preschool classroom at North Carolina’s Ballentine Elementary School as a way to teach about colors. (North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore)

Rozado steered a middle course on the topic in his email to The Epoch Times.

“I believe many elements of The Great Awakening have been institutionalized.” he said.

“However, I can see that some people are arguing that the idea has lost some energy.”

Wokism to Statism

Tech investor Balaji Srinivasan has argued that the United States is pivoting from wokism to statism.

“The empire can’t be run if merit is set at zero.” he wrote on Twitter on March 7. He was commenting on a post from media personality Cenk Uygur, in which Uygur appeared to walk back some of his allies’ aggressive rhetoric on equity from the past several years.

“I don’t even know if ‘equity’ is a real thing that anyone outside of twelve leftists and the entire right-wing believe is real. The vast majority of progressives agree. [Bernie Sanders] For me, equality of opportunity is the right standard.” Uygur wrote.

It’s hard to take Uygur’s claim at face value.

Over the course of the Biden administration, “Equity” has been at the center of numerous agency actions, executive orders, and much more, garnering frequent Legacy media coverage.

The Washington Post will be publishing its January 2021 issue, for example. Submitted Susan Rice, the new chair of Biden Domestic policy Council, said that she intended to put racial justice at the center of Biden’s agenda.”

In addition, a November 2021 video posted on Twitter by then-Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris distinguished “Egality” from “equity.”

“Equitable treatment ensures that we all end in the same place.” she said in the video. That’s an explicit rejection of “”Equality of Opportunity” is all that matters.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks via video conference during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct.12, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds – Pool/Getty Images)

Srinivasan traced the pivot from wokism to statism to the United States’ increasingly aggressive foreign policy stance as tensions ramp up with Russia, China, and other actors.

“Oh, you don’t want to abolish the police? You must be a racist. Oh, you don’t want to fight world war 3? You must be a traitor. … and that’s the pivot from wokism to statism,” he wrote.

“It’s a provocative hypothesis. Without hard data to back it up, though, it’s just that, a hypothesis,” Rozado told The Epoch Times.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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