Why are professors so likely to be liberal? It’s the stereotype, say sociologists Neil Gross and Ethan Fosse. Just as men see nursing as a women’s profession, conservatives see academia as a liberal’s profession and make other choices.
Journalism, art, fashion, social work and therapy are dominated by liberals; while law enforcement, farming, dentistry, medicine and the military attract more conservatives.
. . . The academic profession “has acquired such a strong reputation for liberalism and secularism that over the last 35 years few politically or religiously conservative students, but many liberal and secular ones, have formed the aspiration to become professors,” they write in the paper, “Why Are Professors Liberal?” That is especially true of their own field, sociology, which has become associated with “the study of race, class and gender inequality — a set of concerns especially important to liberals.”
When tenured professors hire new faculty, they favor those with similar viewpoints and values.