meritocracy

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meritocracy

1. rule by persons chosen not because of birth or wealth, but for their superior talents or intellect
2. the persons constituting such a group
3. a social system formed on such a basis

meritocracy

a form of society in which educational and social success is the outcome of ability (measured by IQ) and individual effort. The notion, given prominence by Michael Young (The Rise of the Meritocracy, 1958), figured prominently in the work of Fabian socialists who did much to promote it as a guiding principle to legitimate the changes sought in the 1944 Education Act and the subsequent drive to secondary reorganization along comprehensive lines. Meritocracy emphasizes equality of competition rather than equality of outcome, assuming that positions in an occupational hierarchy will be obtained as a result of achievement on merit against universal, objective criteria, rather than on ascribed criteria of age, gender, race, or inherited wealth. No person of quality, competence or appropriate character should be denied the opportunity to achieve a commensurate social status. Essential to the concept of meritocracy is the belief that only a limited pool of talent exists and that it is an important function of the education system to see that such talent is not wasted but is developed and fostered. (See also FUNCTIONALIST THEORY OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION).

The principle of meritocracy is by no means universally accepted. Young himself was ambivalent about some of its consequences, e.g. a denuding of working-class culture and working-class leadership. Major criticisms have also come from those who argue that genuine EQUALITY can only be achieved by the adoption of strategies which are designed to produce greater equality as an end product of the system rather than at its starting point. In any event, those advocating the meritocratic view have to resolve the recurring difficulty of devising objective measures of ability. See also INTELLIGENCE.

References in periodicals archive ?
Fukuyama supports the viewpoint of Alexandere Kojeve; a French Philosopher, that the progress of history must lead toward the establishment of a "universal and homogenous" nation-state, incorporating elements of a meritocratic democracy.
Even as China pioneered a strong, relatively meritocratic state at a time when Europe was in the dark ages of feudalism, it never developed the concept of holding secular rulers subject to law in the same way as the ruled.
We wanted to make the process transparent and meritocratic rather than based on the school/college you went to," says Gupta, who was picked up by Google from the campus.
In a high-growth environment, with rising incomes for almost everyone, people will accept rising inequality up to a point, particularly if it occurs in a context that is substantially meritocratic.
He said a relentless focus on making money openede the door to more meritocratic promotions, but said it could lead to future con-flicts with the industry's role as auditors and independent reviewers of the finances of companies.
Where Holowchak's (2013) argument falters is in his blanket assertion that Jefferson's proposals were "both meritocratic and democratic" (p.
You fall into the trap that equality of opportunity should lead to equality of outcome, the fallacy that led to the ideologically driven destruction of the UK's meritocratic secondary education system.
This would mean a more meritocratic system which could result in just one region qualifying for the European elite tournament.
Proposals put forward to address a new structure within a Rugby Champions Cup were agreed by a majority of the unions in October, alongside meritocratic competition formats and equitable financial distributions.
Hussain deplored that we don't have a meritocratic system in Pakistan.
Programs to get Gulf nationals into meaningful careers have been slow to get going, but are showing results -- the same tactics should be encourage the female population of the region to join this most meritocratic industry -- to not do so is a to a disservice to both to the IT sector and to women.
Part of being in such a fast-paced, meritocratic culture is if someone isn't doing his or her job, it will become evident very quickly.