Discipline: Political Science
Pejorative term for an overly rigid or token adherence to a liberal canon of beliefs.
This novel orthodoxy first surfaced in the USA as lobbyists for disadvantaged minorities began exerting significant political influence; and, consequently, as issues of gender, ethnicity and physical disability were widely promoted as legitimate subjects for sympathetic academic scrutiny. Opponents regard political correctness as an arbitrary pretext for the misuse of power, and as self-contradictory in its stifling of free thought and expression.
A related derogatory term, PCism, refers to loaded, proscriptive or euphemistic use of language in an effort to redefine, or not cause offence, or to appear politically correct. Examples include 'people of color' meaning non-whites, 'differently abled' meaning handicapped, and 'vertically challenged' meaning short.