Sunday, October 02, 2022

Meritocracy in the university setting

The Atlantic has an interesting article about the myth of meritocracy in the university setting. It got me to thinking. Read the article to understand my

<idle musing>

No doubt a mixed bag, at best. I’m not sure where I stand. Both my parents taught at a state university, but hardly an elite one; my dad regularly gives to his alma mater, a state school. I went to multiple undergraduate schools: University of Wisconsin-Stout, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Asbury College (now University), as well as graduate schools: Asbury Seminary, University of Kentucky, and University of Chicago. I regularly receive donation requests from about half of them. I’ve never given, feeling my cash goes further in supporting homeless shelters, etc., than in supporting the already upper-middle-class attendees of those schools.

But, I wonder if I believe in meritocracy? I think I do, to an extent. But, I also have no doubt that there is someone currently working a low-paying job who, with the options I had would be much better than I am at what I do. There was a study back in the 1980s (I forget now where I read it—it was years ago) where some college professors went into the inner city and ran a summer program for disadvantaged youth and uncovered multiple people with genius-level intelligence who would never get the opportunity to develop it because of cultural limitations. And the current admissions scandals don’t exactly encourage belief in meritocracy, do they?

I had read elsewhere about the just-world hypothesis. I see it, but NIMBY tendencies keep anything from happening to fix it. Common good seems to be a diminishing commodity : (

Just a Sunday morning
</idle musing>

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