It’s a concept that has received some long overdue scrutiny of late (you need only search “recent attacks on meritocracy” to find 933,000 results, at least on Google), so now is the perfect moment to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on meritocracy. I think anyone who has spent any amount of time in a workplace knows that merit is basically inert when one seeks to advance one’s own career. It’s the sycophants and politicians that advance in our society, not those who seek to prove their worth through the merits of their efforts and labor. Indeed, a whole genre of comedy arose around this, starting, at least on my radar screen, with the American version of the situation comedy The Office.
Parenthetically, this document’s reading is more text than one usually finds in the short Cultural Literacy exercises on this website. Moreover, the reading mentions the Scholastic Aptitude Test, about which I will soon be posting a lesson plan. As you will see when you download and unpack it, this worksheet on meritocracy allows plenty of room to expand it–which, because it is a Microsoft Word, you can do easily.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.