Notions Of Excellence And Meritocracy Analysis

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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 …show more content…
I moved to Canada at the age of four and have gone through all my schooling from kindergarten to university in Canada. Thus, I understand and accept the privilege that I hold from this position and the benefits that I am receiving from Indigenous land. That being said, as an immigrant, and a child of immigrants, my parents made a point that I understand that as long as I work hard, and do well in school, I can do anything, essentially a you get what you give analogy, thus highlighting my relationship to meritocracy. In also being from a South Asian family, the only ‘acceptable’ career options have always been and limited to a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, thus emphasizing the ideas of excellence. Therefore, I worked as hard as I could throughout high school in order to gain acceptance into university. Getting into UofT was one of my biggest life accomplishments – the best university in Canada was about to become my home, and I was going to become a lawyer, as long as I worked hard enough. I had no thoughts about how my gender, race, ethnicity, class or any other factors could affect this goal. In my mind it was a simple equation: working hard + doing well = being a lawyer, and thus this was the simple equation that I worked to resolve. This line of thinking has changed drastically throughout my university career, I have been exposed to and become aware about the …show more content…
In 1857, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that Blacks could never be granted equal opportunity and protection, as they were inferior to White and always would be (Hattery & Smith, 2005) Thus, it was established that Black peoples were unfit to associate with the White race in any sort of relation, thus there were no factors in which the White man had to respect Black people (Hattery & Smith, 2005). It is clear that society has not progressed much from this era. As race has no biological standing except for differentiating whiteness from other bodies, it manifests as real as these constructs are a core pillar of our society. Thus, race becomes ‘common sense’ as it is a way to comprehend and explain and act in the world (Lopez, 1994). This construction resides in power, especially regarding who has the power to construct difference and disseminate these messages. Thus, power is the central figure of the construction of race and ethnicity. Those in power have the ability to construct themselves as superior and all other as inferior in order to keep their monopoly over power, thus these ideologies infiltrate every aspect of life, further perpetuating racial distinctions and the hierarchies associated with it. The concept of race can be tied to Western philosophical belief systems. The development of racial theories was central to dominant ideas of the European

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