‘Are you from the income tax?’ asked a young Bangladeshi man, with his tongue only partly placed against his cheek, as I paused for a moment outside one of Brick Lane’s curry houses a few weeks ago. No, I laughed. Nevertheless, this encounter did make me reflect on why I might be perceived as some... Find out more
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Ideas, as well as people, now move more freely. We have put new models, drawn from other classes and other parts of the world, before the local people, creating new aspirations and new ideas.
Michael Young and Peter Willmott.
Family and Kinship in East London, 1957
In moving toward the meritocratic ideal, we have imagined that we have retired the old encrustations of inherited hierarchies. As the sociologist Michael Young knew, that’s not the real story.
- writes Kwame Anthony Appiah in 'The Red Baron' for The New York Review of Books.Find out more
The final piece in our three-part series of guest blogs exploring what lies beyond the meritocracy? David Goodhart, journalist and author: Meritocracy is the worst system in the world for distributing status, responsibility and rewards, apart from all the others, to paraphrase Churchill on democracy. If one’s main priority is the efficient running of society,... Find out more