Theme - Week 6: Meritocracy

A phrase used often in Sociology to discuss the idea of social mobility Meritocracy is the idea that your place in life is linked to how hard you have worked for it. Your success in life is decided on Merit. You get what you deserve.

Now its fairly obviously the case that we don't currently live in a Meritocracy. However there are still plenty of media texts and cultural items that try and pretend we do. Nearly all sports films for instance show the main protagonist as someone who conquers all due to their determination. This ideology is fairly prevelenat despite a world that is more and more ruled by inequality.

In your blog posts you could discuss the idea of meritocracy and whether you think it exists or not but try and find a media text that shows some element of this.

One of the best scenes from the Movie version is below in which Alec Baldwin's character tries to 'incentivise' his work force. The stage play and film both depict a world in which meritocracy is idealised ("always be closing") and insisted on as truth, however the different characters and their difficulties shows us how in order for some people to prosper others must always fail no matter how hard they work.


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