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Can Everyone Succeed By Trying Harder? One Harvard Professor Calls Meritocracy A Myth

Michael J. Sandel arrives to the 2018 Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony at the Campoamor Teather on October 19, 2018 in Oviedo, Spain.  (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Michael J. Sandel arrives to the 2018 Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony at the Campoamor Teather on October 19, 2018 in Oviedo, Spain. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

What if everything we’ve been believed about America being a meritocracy — where hard work will bring success — is wrong?

According to Harvard University political philosophy professor Michael Sandel, those with advantages like money and education have been taught that they succeed on their own merit, while those without advantages and support are raised to believe that their struggles are borne of their own failings.

And for those among the minority of Americans who do attend a four-year college, claiming superiority is among the country’s last acceptable prejudices.

Here & Now host Robin Young talks to Sandel about his new book “ The Tyranny of Merit.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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