Learning Links

The Meritocracy Myth
Sociation Today, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2004
by Stephen J. McNamee and Robert K. Miller, Jr.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
According to the ideology of the American Dream, America is the land of limitless opportunity in which individuals can go as far as their own merit takes them. According to this ideology, you get out of the system what you put into it.
We refer to this gap as “the meritocracy myth,” or the myth that the system distributes resources—especially wealth and income—according to the merit of individuals. We challenge this assertion in two ways. First, we suggest that while merit does indeed affect who ends up with what, the impact of merit on economic outcomes is vastly overestimated by the ideology of the American Dream. Second, we identify a variety of nonmerit factors that suppress, neutralize, or even negate the effects of merit and create barriers to individual mobility. more









by Paul Crofts, Paul Crofts’ Blog: Views from an independent socialist: Equality & Diversity News: May 2013
I recently came across the above cartoon and I thought it was really useful as way of visualizing equality in different ways. As someone who has been involved in equality and diversity issues over many years I still find it difficult sometimes to verbally explain that the word “equality” carries different meanings in different contexts and sometimes these different meaning can seem contradictory. more

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
from RACE – The Power of an Illusion, produced by California Newsreel in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Major funding provided by the Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Diversity Fund.
Our eyes tell us that people look different. No one has trouble distinguishing a Czech from a Chinese. But what do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with us? How does race affect people today? There’s less – and more – to race than meets the eye: more 

What is Systemic Racism?
Rinku Sen President of Race Forward & Publisher of Colorlines introduces the “What Is Systemic Racism?” video series featuring our very own Jay Smooth.

How Racism is Bad for our Bodies
“Merely the anticipation of racism, and not necessarily the act, is enough to trigger a stress response.”

by Jason Silverstein, The Atlantic, March 12, 2013