The NY Times has a fascinating article about all the old hippie, left-wing, activist professors who are now grey and reaching retiring age, to be replaced with a bunch of complacent, moderate, and apolitical "intellectuals." Notably, the times says that most of the retiring class is composed of white males, while a far greater percentage of the younger generation is composed of women and people of color. This younger generation is also more interested in university family benefits, maternity leave, and arugula delivery than picket lines, handcuff marks, and socialistparty-usa.org.
To me, it sounds like a bit of the old red state/blue state divide, except that "red" state means really, really RED state. One generation is more Volvo and Volvic, while the other is more weeds and needs, supposedly. Yuppies vs. hippies=boring.
If the older generation was so radical and open, why did it take so long to diversify the academy? Where were all of the women and minorities? Did the locus of resistance pop out of nowhere? That is, if the now (or soon to) retiring class actively and physically laid their bodies down for social change, why did it take so long for change to occur right at home, in their classrooms, and on their faculties?
Comments are welcome.