Do you believe that Britain is meritocratic?

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anon5252
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What are you reasons? Do you think that people can achieve an achieved status and that hard work outperforms privilege?
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londonmyst
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Yes.
Although there will always be a few opportunistic bad apples who have achieved academic, career or financial success through either illegal/unethical/combined means.
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Phrasing
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Idealistically not, but compared to some countries maybe. Just look at the percentage of private school pupils intake of Oxbridge (42%) where private school pupils only make up 7% of all UK pupils (2017 BBC report). While Oxford and Cambridge are only two universities they make up 20% of MP's. Social mobility is certainly an issue in UK and until all people have equal opportunities, I do not think the system will be truly meritocratic.

Media tends to focus on those one in a million people who have made it despite harsh conditions but this is not possible for most people and often same amount of work from different social backgrounds is not rewarded equally. The question would be, Is being able to attend a private school really a merit?
Last edited by Phrasing; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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Given the UK has one of the lowest levels of social mobility in Europe...no.
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Picnicl
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There is some meritocracy but it's rendered irrelevant by the very generous benefits system and female-centric academia.
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yzanne
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yes, in theory.

there are always exceptions to the rule.

my pet peeve is when people bring up the one in a million celebrity (i.e. richard branson) who 'only got 1 a level and now is a millionaire' - it's simply not possible nowadays when you really need qualifications. not always, but often.
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caravaggio2
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Not as long as we have all women short lists
People should be hired for what they have between their ears and not what they have between their legs
Last edited by caravaggio2; 1 month ago
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CoolCavy
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No, people hire for jobs based on nepotism rather than who is actually best qualified for the job. This may not be the case in large cities but it definitely is in smaller areas.
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Kitten in boots
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No. We pay lip service to the ideal.

I'm lucky enough to come from a relatively privileged background. I know just how easily the societal definition of success is to achieve. It certainly does not require much hard work.
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Napp
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(Original post by Phrasing)
Idealistically not, but compared to some countries maybe. Just look at the percentage of private school pupils intake of Oxbridge (42%) where private school pupils only make up 7% of all UK pupils (2017 BBC report). While Oxford and Cambridge are only two universities they make up 20% of MP's. Social mobility is certainly an issue in UK and until all people have equal opportunities, I do not think the system will be truly meritocratic.
Arguably, wouldnt that more be to do with the shocking state of many state schools?
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Joinedup
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The word meritocracy has an interesting origin.

it was originally coined as a social satire by Michael Young in his fictional account of a dystopian future meritocratic society with pitiless stratification, in which the concept of people getting what they deserved had subtly morphed into the class with 'merit' believing they deserved all they could get.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...jun/29/comment - guest piece by Michael Young (quite old 2001)
---
and also
https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...t-they-deserve (2018)

readers letters about the above
https://www.theguardian.com/society/...of-meritocracy
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anon5252
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(Original post by Kitten in boots)
No. We pay lip service to the ideal.

I'm lucky enough to come from a relatively privileged background. I know just how easily the societal definition of success is to achieve. It certainly does not require much hard work.
Much hard work for you or for other people?
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Diplomatic
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People saying no need to travel more...
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FakeNewsEditor
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No, networking is almost everything. Who you know is ridiculously important not just in the UK.
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Diplomatic
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(Original post by FakeNewsEditor)
No, networking is almost everything. Who you know is ridiculously important not just in the UK.
Not really. There are hundreds of graduate jobs that utilise a process consisting of multiple online tests, multiple interviews and whatnot to select candidates. Knowing someone at a firm can be useful, but claiming that it's ridiculously important is a stretch.
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MuamarGadafi
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yes
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nathan_nacu
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(Original post by anon5252)
What are you reasons? Do you think that people can achieve an achieved status and that hard work outperforms privilege?
More meritocratic than places I’ve been to but no not really overall. Privilege in different forms can easily trump hardwork and fast track some who have it and this is true in a lot of situations in 🇬🇧.
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nathan_nacu
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(Original post by Diplomatic)
Not really. There are hundreds of graduate jobs that utilise a process consisting of multiple online tests, multiple interviews and whatnot to select candidates. Knowing someone at a firm can be useful, but claiming that it's ridiculously important is a stretch.
You’d be surprised
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_Simba_
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No, social inequality is constantly reproduced within our society giving upper classes advantages. Those brought up in working class households tend to lack cultural capital and therefore social mobility is made quite difficult. As the user above me stated networking is key and obviously it is the upper classes that have the most contacts.
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hhamadaman
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(Original post by Diplomatic)
Not really. There are hundreds of graduate jobs that utilise a process consisting of multiple online tests, multiple interviews and whatnot to select candidates. Knowing someone at a firm can be useful, but claiming that it's ridiculously important is a stretch.
knowing someone at a firm isnt just like a reference or something. having a family or parents friends that have a good network provides you with advice on the application: interview and the tests. or if your dads best friend is a head of legal firm and they were hiring a lawyer, you could even get the job without it being advertised as soon as you graduate.
I mean even for start ups, having a good network means cheap loans. you dont work hard to have a good network you are born into it!
Last edited by hhamadaman; 1 month ago
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