The Myths That Bind Us: Meritocracy

Here are some popular phrases we have all heard. “He went from rags to riches.” “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” “You can make it if you try.” “We can all have the American Dream.” Think about these popular movies: Rocky, The Social Network, or The Pursuit of Happyness. We celebrate the characters in these films because the protagonist overcomes obstacles and achieves success through dint of their grit and ingenuity.

These are all illustrations of America understood as a meritocracy — privilege, status, and rewards accrue to those with the talent and work…