Ideology Assumption #2: Meritocracy—

Many of us grew up with an understanding that everyone has equal opportunity; yet, several of the scholars in this module and others have refuted this claim. Do you think meritocracy is a myth? Comment on whether it is a viable framework for diverse societies. How does the idea of meritocracy relate to the concepts of equality and equity discussed in Module 2?


Idealization that we need to believe to believe in progress of human condition… not actually reality. But people need to believe a fantasy in order to keep moving forward, and not challenge authority or government… governing bodies complicit in this fantasy creation or fantasy continuing… more prevalent in the US.

quotes on p 64 to back this up re: constraints of bootstraping theory limited to those of most privelege.

This quote stands out “unfettered meritocracy and its ideology of rugged individualism and self-determination.” p 64 Schick

goes on to discuss the opposite of working hard etc… suggesting the common patern of a binary system. No continuum… that if not working hard, etc… must be the opposite. So wihtout he privelege, must be lazy. flawed.

supports the system of racism and oppressive that the priveleged rely on the other being oppressed to get ahead. Implication is that the other is not working hard instead of addressing the fact that they do not have the same level of privelege to be on the same playing field to benefit from the so called meritocracy only afforded to those inthat spectrum of privelege. .. white, able bodied, socially connected, financially stable… etc..

“If we imagine that we are all self-determining and unencumbered, then disadvantage and poverty are attributed to lack of motivation, effort, and the ability to make the right choices. ” p. 64 schick.


It these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own. (Macintosh, 1998, p. 167) Peggy MAckintosh addressing the fact that meritocracy doesn’t exist.

“We just need to get along,” they deny the power of racial identity to confer privilege. They do not acknowledge that people are differently positioned in hierarchical structures that depend on social and political difference. Unmarked dominance remains invisible, and inequality is explained as a product of cultural dif- p. 66


Both institutional and individual change must occur, including the more widespread teaching of a critical anti-oppressive education that examines the co-production of dominant and subordinate relations. By requiring our students to examine their dominant identifications and the power relations through which they are produced, we see students engage in a difficult but necessary process in challenging the assumptions that normalize and naturalize inequality.

p. 67 Schick.