Historical Features Of Western Culture Essay

1408 Words Dec 21st, 2016 6 Pages
Notions of excellence and meritocracy can be regarded as defining features of Western culture. The idea that individuals have the power and ability to work for what they want in life and in turn if they work hard they can accomplish the highest forms of excellence. Excellence is the normative idea grounded in Eurocentric ways of knowing, which seeks to keep racial hierarchies in play as excellence is propagated upon White bodies. These idealizations mask racist tenancies, and portray post-racial societies while negating the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, ability and race. Thus, as notions of excellence seeks to categorize individuals based on their levels of achievement, and meritocracy is used as an alibi for western notions of excellence, we can see how both ideas are simply constructs that reside in Whiteness and normalcy. Therefore, this paper will argue that as the social constructs of race and ethnicity created ideas of normality, certain markers were mapped onto certain bodies. White bodies were marked are intelligent, successful beings, as opposed to all other races that were coded as backwards, and ‘less than’ in turn creating a racial hierarchy. These constructs thus play a direct role in the notions of excellence and meritocracy. Excellence thus deemed as a path for White bodies, spaces in which they can keep a monopoly over their power in turn subjugating all other races, while meritocracy is kept as a façade to claim that there…

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