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Meritocracy and its discontents

March 6, 2020

The conversation between Glenn Loury and Daniel Markovits dealt with meritocracy, its promises of fairness and equality, and its troubled past and present, and was moderated by Wellesley sociologist Kelly Rutherford. Questions that were discussed included the following: can the United States be characterised as a meritocracy, given increasing levels of income inequality? Should it even aspire to be one? How did meritocracy emerge as an ideal for contemporary society, and are there alternatives that would serve our citizenry better?

Daniel Markovits
Daniel Markovits
Guido Calabresi Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Daniel Markovits is the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He specializes in legal ethics and the moral foundations of law. His most recent book is The Meritocracy Trap (2019).

Glenn Loury
Glenn Loury
Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Brown University

Glenn Loury, the Merton P. Stolz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University, writes widely on such topics as race, social mobility, and criminal justice.

Kelly Rutherford
Kelly Rutherford
Associate Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College

Kelly Rutherford, associate professor of sociology at Wellesley, studies the effects of neoliberal policies and rising social inequality on families and parenting.