Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Meritocracy, elitism and inequality

Mijs, Jonathan J.B and Savage, Mike ORCID: 0000-0003-4563-9564 (2020) Meritocracy, elitism and inequality. Political Quarterly, 91 (2). 397 - 404. ISSN 0032-3179

[img] Text (Mijs_meritocracy-elitism-and-inequality--published) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (443kB)

Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-923X.12828

Abstract

The appeal of meritocracy is plain to see, because it appears to promote equality of opportunity. However, in this paper we argue that meritocracy is also a deeply elitist project. Firstly, we place Michael Young in context to show how his critique of meritocracy should be understood as a socialist vision to ameliorate class divides. Secondly, we show how economic inequality in the UK has not generated systematic resistance: in fact, inequality and belief in meritocracy have gone hand in hand. Thirdly, we argue that people see their own lives as meritocratic rather than ascribed, and that such values are deeply embedded in popular life. We offer two explanations for how such views have come about, and show how they have helped construct a more unequal society.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/1467923x
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Sociology
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2020 15:03
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 07:54
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103817

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics