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Does School Make People Believe In Meritocracy? Essay

  • Submitted by: technosaurus
  • on November 8, 2011
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 5,237 words

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Below is an essay on "Does School Make People Believe In Meritocracy?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Does school make people believe in meritocracy?
Elise TENRET
IREDU – CNRS, University of Burgundy
Working paper prepared for
Equalsoc Educ Workshop in Tallinn
May 2009
Abstract
This paper aims at explaining the perception of social inequalities and the support for an
education-based meritocracy (EBM) among individuals. The level and type of education impact
has been closely investigated – at a macro and micro level –, as education is theoretically
supposed to influence the support for dominant ideologies. To this end, the third wave of Issp
survey dataset has been used, as well as the results of a survey conducted in France among
tertiary students attending different tracks and fields of study (Sts, Iut, Classes préparatoires and
University). This research shows that education influences the representations of meritocracy at
both micro and macro levels. From an individual point of view, it has been established that
people with higher degree and lower degree tend to perceive more often their society as
meritocratic (“U” curve effect of education on representations), and that more educated people
defend more the importance of diplomas than the others. In addition to this relative effect of
diploma, it has been evidenced, at a more macrosocial level, that the school system organization
and development also has an effect on the representations of meritocracy: the educational stock
of a country, measured by the percent of persons attending tertiary education, increases the
justification of social inequality, while the percent of social science students decreases it. The
French case has been specifically examined. In France, the criticism of diplomas seems to derive
from its incapacity, according to students, to reflect one's competencies or merits.
Key words: justice belief, social perception of inequalities,
Does school make people believe in meritocracy? Elise TENRET
Introduction
Sociological analysis has mainly focused on...

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