Q – How does a meritocracy impact girls/women?

Q – How does a meritocracy impact girls/women?

  • how do girls/women tolerate a system built on merit?

Not as well. They are steered to specific subjects/trades. Not based on skillsets, but because they will one day possibly be a mother and a wife. Which is presumed means they will spend less time at their career. And their father/husband will be the primary custodian of the family’s wealth.

  • Are there educational and career impacts that girls/women face?

Yes subjects are geared toward boys/men and also toward college/univ goals. Girls/women have less access to these higher education opps. Whether that is a social oppression issue or a financial one?

  • Is there a perceptual divergence in how girls/women face conflicts between career and family? Why don’t men face the same issues?

Yes, because girls/women will face time off for pregnancy, childrearing and are far more often the sole or primary caregiver when this happens.

notes on merit/resources

social theorists

Marx and Engels – social alienation
Adam Smith- invisible hand in economics
Max Weber – bureaucracy
Durkheim – Division of labour
Cox – class, caste and race



Meritocracy is a social system in which success and status in life depend primarily on individual talents, abilities, and effort. It is a social system in which people advance on the basis of their merits.

A meritocratic system contrasts with aristocracy, for which people advance on the basis of the status and titles of family and other relations.

Societies are built on the belief that anyone can make it with hard work and dedication. Social scientists often refer to this as the “bootstrap ideology,” evoking the popular notion of “pulling” oneself “up by the bootstraps.”

Societies of structural inequalities and systems of oppression designed and developed specifically to limit opportunities based on class, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, and other social markers.

Glass ceiling


it’s not an explicit practice of discriminating against women, though specific policies, practices, and attitudes may exist that produce this barrier without intention to discriminate.

pink collar getto

business insider

career/family conflict


“Merit is equated with intelligence-plus-effort, its possessors are identified at an early age and selected for appropriate intensive education, and there is an obsession with quantification, test-scoring, and qualifications.”

the availability of resources to cultivate merit are largely predicated upon one’s current and historic socioeconomic status. Thus, those born into higher socioeconomic standing–those who have more wealth–have access to more resources than those born into lower standing.

While meritocracy is a noble ideal for any social system, achieving it first requires recognizing that social, economic, and political conditions may exist which make it impossible. To achieve it, then, such conditions must be corrected.

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