The Meritocracy Myth

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 2009 - Social Science - 285 pages
2 Reviews
A third edition of this textbook is now available. The Meritocracy Myth challenges the widely held American belief in meritocracy that people get out of the system what they put into it based on individual merit. Fully revised and updated throughout, the second edition includes compelling new case studies, such as the impact of social and cultural capital in the cases of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and new material on current topics such as the impact of the financial and credit crisis, intergenerational mobility, and the impact of racism and sexism. The Meritocracy Myth examines talent, attitude, work ethic, and character as elements of merit and evaluates the effect of non-merit factors such as social status, race, heritage, and wealth on meritocracy. A compelling book on an often-overlooked topic, the first edition was highly regarded and proved a useful examination of this classic American ideal."

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Meritocracy Myth

User Review  - Stephanie - Goodreads

The only thing that makes this book difficult is that people will find it linguistically challenging, even though the concepts are relatively simple. It's well written, but could use some smaller words, although technically it is an academic book. Read full review

Review: The Meritocracy Myth

User Review  - Wealhtheow - Goodreads

Straight-forward, detailed, cited. Perfect reminder of the various influences in American society that are so often invisible. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Stephen J. McNamee is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Robert K. Miller, Jr. is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Bibliographic information