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The Meritocracy Myth: Is effort enough to level the playing field? - 10 November 2021

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The ideals of meritocracy are used to inspire young people in Britain to believe they can be whatever they want to be with enough effort…but is it really a myth?

The School of Politics and Economics will welcome Professor Diane Reay to discuss whether meritocracy is an illusion in contemporary British society, leading to greater division and prejudice.

Prof Reay, a visiting professor at the LSE and Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, will challenge the dominant ideology of meritocracy in contemporary British society, drawing on ethnographic research in schools over a 25-year period.

Prof Reay will argue that the consequences of the pretence of meritocracy are to be found in everyday practices of testing, hyper-competition, and setting, and beyond the classroom.

And, beyond the classroom, Prof Reay will look closer at the wider consequences for British society, exacerbating social divisions and encouraging the growth of distrust, prejudice, envy, resentment, and contempt between different social groups.

This session will take place on MS Teams and there will be plenty of opportunity for Q&A.

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Event details

10 November 2021

Online event

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