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Meritocracy: Myth and Reality

SOC 378

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In 2022, the Supreme Court took up two cases on affirmative action in higher education admissions, and hence on the meaning of merit ---one involving Harvard, the other the University of North Carolina. Meanwhile, in 2021, Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel advised German Social Democratic chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz to use the anti-meritocratic campaign theme of respect that helped him get elected. What is meritocracy and where did it come from? Is it a good way to organize society? What does the future of meritocracy look like? This class will explore the myth and reality of meritocracy to answer these questions.
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Section S01