James Bloodworth

The Myth of Meritocracy

The best jobs in Britain today are overwhelmingly done by the children of the wealthy. Meanwhile, it is increasingly difficult for bright but poor kids to transcend their circumstances. This state of affairs should not only worry the less well-off. It hurts the middle classes too, who are increasingly locked out of the top professions by those from affluent backgrounds.
Hitherto, Labour and Conservative politicians alike have sought to deal with the problem by promoting the idea of 'equality of opportunity'. In politics, social mobility is the only game in town, and old socialist arguments emphasising economic equality are about as fashionable today as mullets and shell suits. Yet genuine equality of opportunity is impossible alongside levels of inequality last seen during the 1930s. In a grossly unequal society, the privileges of the parents unfailingly become the privileges of the children.
A vague commitment from our politicians to build a 'meritocracy' is not enough. Nor is it desirable: a perfectly stratified meritocracy, in which everyone knew their station based on 'merit', would be a deeply unpleasant place to live. Any genuine attempt to improve social mobility must start by reducing the gap between rich and poor.
PROVOCATIONS is a groundbreaking new series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Sharp, intelligent and controversial, Provocations provides insightful contributions to the most vital discussions in society today.
87 afgedrukte pagina’s
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    Kiran Moredeelde een impressie7 maanden geleden

    Best reading after Part V

    Kristinadeelde een impressie4 jaar geleden
    👍De moeite van het lezen waard
    🎯De moeite waard

    A brief British political history overview along with the great analysis and myth busting. Highly recommended!


    Kiran Moreciteerde uit7 maanden geleden
    London is now the unpaid intern capital of Europe, and in journalism it shows.
    Kiran Moreciteerde uit7 maanden geleden
    disproportionately large number of places at Oxford are taken up by people with Norman Conquest surnames such as Baskerville, Darcy, Mandeville and Montgomery
    Kiran Moreciteerde uit7 maanden geleden
    during a debate in the House of Commons in 1807, the Tory MP Davies Gilbert warned the House that ‘giving education to the working classes would be bad for their morals and happiness.

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