Politics, Philosophy & Social Sciences Social Sciences Books

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Paradise Lost

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

The Thirty-Nine Steps

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Arsene Lupin

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

The Pursuit of the House-Boat Being Some Further Account of the Divers Doings of the Associated Shades, under the Leadership of Sherlock Holmes, Esq.

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Against Meritocracy: Culture, power and myths of mobility

Meritocracy today involves the idea that whatever your social position at birth, society ought to offer enough opportunity and mobility for ‘talent’ to combine with ‘effort’ in order to ‘rise to the top’. This idea is one of the most prevalent social and cultural tropes of our time, as palpable in the speeches of politicians as in popular culture. In this book Jo Littler argues that meritocracy is the key cultural means of legitimation for contemporary neoliberal culture – and that whilst it promises opportunity, it in fact creates new forms of social division.Against Meritocracy is split into two parts. Part I explores the genealogies of meritocracy within social theory, political discourse and working cultures. It traces the dramatic U-turn in meritocracy’s meaning, from socialist slur to a contemporary ideal of how a society should be organised. Part II uses a series of case studies to analyse the cultural pull of popular ‘parables of progress’, from reality TV to the super-rich and celebrity CEOs, from social media controversies to the rise of the ‘mumpreneur’. Paying special attention to the role of gender, ‘race’ and class, this book provides new conceptualisations of the meaning of meritocracy in contemporary culture and society.