In Defense of the Humanities PhD- - from The Atlantic

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by warguns, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. warguns

    warguns Member

    In Defense of the Humanities Ph.D.: It's No Crazier Than Becoming a Journalist - The Atlantic

    My opinion as to why humanities PhD programs have no "dried up" is twofold.

    1. Affluent kids are taking longer to grow up these days. Their twenties are seen as a period for experimentation and enjoyment rather than the beginning of adult life. See the new TV shows: "Master of None" and "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life"

    2. The valence effect of prediction: the tendency for people to simply overestimate the likelihood of good things happening rather than bad things or as it has been stated "We exempt ourselves from ordinary odds". Because there are a few jobs for humanities PhD's that will open; I'll be one of the lucky ones"

    The author here argues that because most residential humanities PhD programs are "fully funded" (the student pays no tuition and has a stipend), getting a humanities PhD is not worse a choice than say, backpacking around the world or searching for the perfect wave.

    Distance PhD students should take heed. No jobs for formerly fully funded PhDs from big time schools would indicate that fewer still for distance graduates of third rate institutions.
  2. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    Not everyone who wants a PhD wants to teach at a top school or teach at all. Some may want or need the degree for other reasons that are just as legitimate. I know that might shock you and some others, but it's true. For these people, a PhD from a top school isn't necessary and one from a DL program at a B&M university isn't a hindrance. And, for some people, like me, who have serious illnesses and who need to stay where they are to be near their doctors and support systems, DL is really the only way to go. So, we're supposed to forego our dreams and goals and not pursue PhDs because obnoxious elitists like you might think our only real options are "third rate" institutions? Just who are you, again?
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What an odd statement. Almost everyone here with a doctorate is NOT teaching full-time, much less at a "top school." The vast majority of questions we get about the doctorate are from people considering the degree to advance their careers.

    You're posting on a board dedicated to this concept. Warguns is just pointing out the limitations associated with trying to use DL doctorates to gain faculty positions, a concept well-known and -discussed on this board.

    One might ask you the same question.
  4. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    Rich Douglas
    You took my entire post out of context. The "shock you and some others" comment was referencing the posters who come in here (few, but some) who have elitist views and put down any school that isn't a top school. I know you've seen them just as I have. Warguns' post came across, to me, as elitist and judgmental and I was offended, which is why I asked him, sarcastically, just who he was, again. As for who I am, I've made it clear who I am and what my goals and obstacles are in several/many posts. If you missed that, that's on you. If you have a problem with my opinion that's also on you. We can agree to disagree and still remain friendly.

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