Social Meritocracy and Unjust Social Hierarchies: Three Proposals to Limit Meritocracy’s Erosion of Social Cooperation

Elena Ziliotti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

A well-functioned society depends on its ability to nurture, attract, and deploy talents in critical sectors. However, the implementation of some meritocratic principles to allocate positions often leads to unjust social hierarchies. Is there, then, a solution to meritocracy’s dysfunctional hierarchical effects? This paper attempts to answer this by drawing on the real-world cases of Singapore and the USA to investigate the relationship of toxic social hierarchies with meritocracy. It proposes three solutions to curb the unjustifiable social stratifications and the erosion of social cooperation often associated with social meritocracy. These reflections could help to shed light on the grounds for the ongoing debates on social hierarchies and provide valuable insights into how to weigh up existing socio-political structures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Equality of opportunity
  • Singapore
  • Social meritocracy
  • The Tyranny of Merit
  • Toxic social hierarchies

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