Meritocracy: The American Dream

1160 Words 5 Pages
For a moment, imagine a society where each individual has ultimately achieved the American Dream. A country where each member of society, regardless of their position in social class, is successful because they have worked hard to do so, and have achieved an upward social mobility for his or her family. However, visualizing a society like this seems unrealistic, right? That is, because this ‘American Dream’ that we continue to push and strive for, is nearly impossible for the majority of our society to attain. This ideology that our country is supposedly a system in which limitless opportunity will exist as far as one’s individual merit can take them, is essentially, illogical (McNamee and Miller 2004). The notion that we live in a meritocracy …show more content…
Individuals must possess high moral character and integrity and have innate abilities, a hard-working mentality, and the right mindset and attitude (McNamee and Miller 2004). However, from personal experience, I believe that along with the merit factors, are other non-merit factors that can alter one’s social mobility. According to Breen and Rottman (2009), social mobility is defined as, “the extent and the way in which families move through the class structure” (313). An example of a non-merit factor that is often viewed as the primary means of upward social mobility is education. As a result, those who seek to gain a higher education, typically obtain more wealth and income than those who opt out of seeking higher educational attainment (McNamee and Miller 2004, …show more content…
From pre-k to second grade, my mother placed me in one of the best private schools in our area. During my time there, I became friends with a girl from Bangladesh, whose family was fairly wealthy and extremely intelligent. At the end of second grade, my mom made the decision to enroll me in a public school because she could not afford the tuition anymore and was working three jobs just to survive. Throughout the rest of my educational experience, I stayed in the public school system. When I applied for college, I was accepted into every university I had an interest in but I was not awarded any scholarships. When I decided to attend Southern Mississippi, I knew I would have to take out an excessive amount of money in student loans because my financial aid summary did not cover nearly half of my tuition. By the time I receive my undergraduate degree I will be approximately, $80,000.00 in debt. However, my friend from private school stayed in this prestigious, prep school system and she now attends Harvard University, which I am sure she is not paying

Related Documents