Definitions

Meritocracy definition/Criticism of meritocracy

Meritocracy is a system or model of ranking and rewarding based on the personal merits of each individual . Meritocracy definition

The etymological origin of the word meritocracy comes from the Latin meritum , which means “merit”, together with the Greek suffix cracía , which means “power”. Thus, the literal meaning of meritocracy would be “power of merit”.

According to the “pure” definition of meritocracy, the process of professional and social leverage is a consequence of each person’s individual merits, that is, their efforts and dedication.

Hierarchical positions would be conditioned to people who have the best educational and moral values ​​and specific and qualified technical or professional skills in a particular area.

This term was used for the first time by Michael Young, in the book “ Rise of the Meritocracy ” (“Levantar da Meritocracy”, in Portuguese), published in 1958. Meritocracy definition

However, in this book by Young, merit is understood as a pejorative term, as it was related to the narration of a society that would be segregated based on two main aspects: intelligence (high IQ) and a great level of effort.

Another criticism leveled at meritocracy in this context would be the effective method of evaluating these “merits”.

The meritocratic reward system is widely applied by companies and private organizations, which value and reward professionals who present better productions, whether with salary increases or offering higher positions.

Meritocracy in companies is a way to motivate employees, who are dedicated to their functions in search of better opportunities as a consequence of the merits presented. Meritocracy definition

Criticism of meritocracy

Some sociologists, philosophers and intellectuals ignore meritocracy as a fair system of hierarchy, as professional or social advancement does not depend exclusively on individual effort, but also on the opportunities that each individual has throughout life.

People who are born with better financial conditions, with access to the best educational institutions and exclusive professional contacts, are more likely to gain a privileged position in relation to those who did not have the same “luck”. Meritocracy definition

However, obviously, it should not be generalized. It’s no use having great opportunities in life, if there isn’t the least effort and desire to take advantage of them.

The main criticism is that this effort is not the only factor that defines success or failure, but a part that encompasses more complex concepts that are present in societies.

Socialism and other ideologies that preach the concept of an egalitarian society are also opposed to meritocracy.

For this group, the idea of ​​encouraging success based on individualism makes social inequality and “Social Darwinism” grow. Meritocracy definition

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