Meritocracy Myth Analysis
While most people cannot name the Meritocracy Myth, remain unaware of its existence and are unable to define it, they still believe it. It manages to permeate every facet of society and social institution. Its influence is everywhere. This would not be a problem if it were true. However, a myth by its very definition means something that is untrue and therefore the Meritocracy Myth is something we have learned to believe in with little basis in reality.
Meritocracy is an ideology that centers on the belief that an individual’s success is the result of their own personal hard work. The central notion is that an individual’s success is based solely on their abilities and their abilities alone. Their success did not result from any …show more content…
Among certain political groups and governments there is a strong belief in individualism and that a person’s ability to move up and down the social ladder is not tied to anything other than that person’s own ambition, "Politically, the American emphasis on individualism found its expression in revolution" (McNamee, 6). It is felt that a person is able to move freely on the social scale based on how hard they work and their earning potential. The politicalizing of this belief results in the feeling that freedom and equality is available to everyone and thus everyone has the opportunity to achieve. Closely tied, then, to the political origins are the economical influences that the Myth perpetuates. When applying a free market ideology, which is rooted in the idea that someone is able to make all the money they want, to this a whole host of issues result, particularly in the political arena.
Finally, there are cultural origins to the Meritocracy Myth; including the main one of the popularization of rags to riches stories that illustrate someone starting out poor, working hard and finally managing to work their way out of the social class into which they were born. The American dream is a popular narrative that is part of our collective consciousness. It is everywhere. It does not matter where you are from, achieving the American dream is why many ancestors came, and people today continue to want to immigrate, to this