America’s ‘Wokeness’ Divide Is Not About Level of Education

Olga Khazan, writing for The Atlantic:

But according to a recent Atlantic/Leger survey, no gap exists between people with college degrees and those without them on some of the hot topics most commonly associated with “wokeness.” Instead, neither group endorses the supposedly “woke” positions particularly strongly. Though the term originated in the Black community, woke now lacks a standard definition, and is sometimes used as a catchall label for a group of only loosely related ideas. People often use the term to describe neologisms that are more popular among progressives, such as pregnant people, as well as policy choices advocated for by some on the left, such as defunding the police. In our poll, we also included reverse-coded statements, meant to capture whether someone was the opposite of “woke,” by asking about common right-wing shibboleths such as political correctness, “cancel culture,” and critical race theory.

For the poll, Leger surveyed a representative sample of 1,002 American adults from October 22 to October 24. We asked for respondents’ agreements with various statements, shown in the chart below, that are often invoked by conservatives and moderates as being associated with people who are “woke.” The results showed that there was no significant difference between people with college degrees and those without them on the question of whether America is becoming too politically correct (slight majorities of both groups agreed somewhat or strongly). The same was true for believing “cancel culture is a big problem in society” — 51 percent of degree holders agreed, as did 45 percent of those without degrees.

Long story short, it’s an age divide, not an education divide. But none of these “woke” positions are actually popular, even amongst the young.

Thursday, 11 November 2021