Monday, May 20, 2013

A dubious-sounding thesis

I'm not sure what's up with this, but it sounds somewhat disturbing (h/t). I'm familiar with the names of the committee members who approved Richwine's dissertation, but the only one a bit of whose work I've read -- many years ago -- is Christopher Jencks. (I'm not sure how Jencks's perspective and views have changed, or indeed if they have, in the last few decades so I'm not even going to try to get substantive here.) I would note as a cautionary matter, however, that committee members don't have to agree with a dissertation's argument in order to approve it; they just have to determine that the thesis passes a certain bar of acceptable scholarship.

5 comments:

T. Greer said...

I think the media coverage on this one has been extremely unfair. The data is very clear - Hispanic immigrants *do* have lower average IQs and the trend for low IQs among post 1960 immigrant groups has shown that the low IQs last a few generations before the Flynn effect takes hold.

I disagree strongly with the conclusions of the thesis - IQ seems like a singularly poor way to judge the worth of a citizen, and plenty of high IQ centers (Wall Street, I am looking at you...) have done nothing good for America. But I can understand why someone would reach the conclusions he does. The witch hunt fervor of it all doesn't reflect what he actually argued.

LFC said...

I was deliberately cautious in my post b/c I haven't read the thesis, for one thing. Daniel Drezner apparently did read it, though I haven't yet read what Drezner says about it.

Like you, I would strongly disagree w Richwine's conclusions re exclusion.

T. Greer said...

The National Review has published an article by Richwine explaining his dissertation.

T. Greer said...

^It is worth reading. Allowing the accused to defend his research in his own words.

LFC said...

Thanks for the pointer. I'll take a look.