Naive Meritocracy and the Meanings of Myth


Source: Jospeh Reagle

In this article, Reagle proposes that so-called meritocracies reproduce extant members and favor incidental attributes; they are biased, susceptible to privilege, and unconcerned with inequitable outcomes. While, meritocratic claims are often unfounded and elide equitable opportunities and outcomes; such claims deserve scrutiny. Yet, meritocracy is experienced as real by some, and it is a worthwhile ideal. The author believes there are two types of naiveté about meritocracy: ignorant naiveté, which is unaware of these critiques, and subjective naiveté, by which personal experiences trumps all else. The notion of naive meritocracy permits us to be critical of meritocratic claims without sacrificing the ideal of meritocracy as equal opportunity.

Keywords: Meaning of Work , Meritocracy , Tech Ethics