The Messy Myth Of Meritocracy

This episode of the Diverse Minds Podcast was meant to be the birthday episode of the show. However, I couldn’t ignore the A-Level exams scandal in the UK. So, I wanted to talk about the messy myth of meritocracy. 

I provide insights on what meritocracy is. Who is considered deserving in the eyes of society. Who deserves what and why they may or may not deserve it. In essence, why it is the messy myth of meritocracy!

Listen to the episode

In today’s show, I talk about:

  • How students have been and are being failed by meritocracy. [00:58]
  • The meaning of meritocracy and why it’s not a good model.  [02:58]
  • Why you should care about meritocracy and the messy myth of meritocracy.  [04:45]
  • About Functiocracy and how it could help remedy some of the problems generated by meritocracy. [07:26]
  • Alternative models for the workplace and boards. [09:46]


Quotes about the Messy Myth of Meritocracy

  • Meritocracy is a system based on individual merit.
  • A meritocratic system often, if not always, has class elements woven into it.
  • If you really care about inequality and want to equalise the playing field considering meritocracy is essential. You’ve got to think about the structural inequalities and systems of oppression designed specifically to limit people based on their class, race and other social markers.
  • The messy myth of meritocracy does nothing to help create equality at work, at home or in society.
  • Functiocracy is a society where individuals are rewarded on the basis of their contribution to the flourishing of the community as a whole. 

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Remember to tune in to next week’s episode, where we will be celebrating the Diverse Minds Podcast’s first birthday.

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