Chapter 6: The problem of meritocracy: the belief in achievement, credentials and justice
Restricted access

Meritocracies are social systems in which individuals are rewarded strictly on the basis of their performance. Meritocracies accept wide inequalities in educational or socioeconomic outcomes, but require rigorous equality of opportunity to be effective. Meritocratic systems operate in sharp contrast to systems based on kinship, nepotism or any form of inherited privilege. Modern societies are increasingly education-based meritocracies in which schools identify and cultivate skills and effort. This chapter examines the role of meritocracy throughout the socioeconomic life cycle, paying particular attention to variations in meritocratic processes between and within nations.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account
Edited by