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The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The best jobs in Britain today are overwhelmingly done by the offspring of privileged parents. Meanwhile, it is increasingly difficult for bright but poor children to transcend their circumstances. This state of affairs should not only worry the poor. It hurts the middle classes too, who are increasingly locked out of the top professions by those from wealthy backgrounds.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 19th 2016 by Biteback Publishing (first published 2016)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  141 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Thom Gething
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This felt like half a book - half an argument. I had not know before that the term 'meritocracy' was in itself created in a satire about the concept, only to embraced at face value by another generation without any sense of irony. It just goes to show how satire is often too close to the truth for its audience to spot the difference.

There are some good sections in the book on income inequality, the power of weak social ties and even how education continues to fail in one of its key roles, creati
Joelcio Omond
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ótimo livro! Apesar de se referir à situação do Reino Unido, o tema tem uma abrangência global e tem estado cada vez mais presente nos discursos políticos também no Brasil. Isso pode ser visto na insatisfação com políticas sociais, bem como na marginalização daqueles por elas beneficiados, assim como na dificuldade/resistência em diminuir benefícios de grupos privilegiados. Pode ser vista correlação também entre a situação referida no livro e a fragmentação das lutas na esquerda também aqui no B ...more
Matt Hunt
I have been looking for a book like this for some time and I'm very pleased to have found this one.
It's a critique of the philosophy of the meritocracy and it's implementation in the politics of the UK. Well written, concisely argued and easy to read. Perhaps a bit short? I could happily have read twice as much and would have appreciated some deeper theoretical considerations, and I would have liked a 'further reading' section. Excellent book nonetheless.
Well worth reading for anyone who has ev
Lur Hall
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terminado este libro que se lee en una tarde. Avala con datos lo que ya sospechaba. Es revelador y está plagado de reflexiones que te hielan. "The American author John Steinbeck once observed that socialism never took off in the United States because the poor saw themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
Steve Angelkov
Interesting collection of articles compiled into a concise book.

The myth of meritocracy details the political concept of social mobility, the supposed free market opportunity for all people.

The biggest spin of it all is making the working classes / general population 'believe' that a movement has a genuine benefit, when it fact it has the complete opposite effect.

Brexit anyone??
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Great read, well researched with some very pertinent points, especially on class. Felt a bit short, more like a series of articles as the subject could most certainly fill volumes.
Indra Fajar
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: karesep
Now I know how competition ought to be
Joseph Busa
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, concise and to the point. Recommended reading for those who rally behind the #allaboutme movements.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Incredibly thought-provoking, this book really made me think about things slightly deeper than I had before. Should be widely read.
Tim Green
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A well referenced, well structured, comprehensive discussion. I found it very interesting and it certainly got me thinking about a few things I'd never considered before.
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James Bloodworth is an English writer and the author of two books, The Myth of Meritocracy and Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. His work has appeared in the Guardian, the Times, New York Review of Books, New Statesman and elsewhere. He is on Twitter as @J_Bloodworth.
“Twenty-first-century social democracy will defend to the death your right to be unequal to the next man –as long as merit, rather than wealth, has placed you on your allotted rung of the ladder.” 0 likes
“The existence of such opportunities … depends not only on an open road, but upon an equal start.” 0 likes
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