Weekly Economics Podcast: The Myth of Meritocracy

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It’s the story we’re all told when we’re growing up. Work hard at school so you can get into a good university. Work hard at university so you can get a good job. Get a masters degree – taking on more student debt – if you really want to mark yourself out. Work hard at the office so you can get ahead.

But what if that’s not the real story? Social mobility in the UK is stagnating. Class privilege is entrenched. Boris Johnson is the twentieth prime minister to go to Eton. What if the idea of Britain as a meritocracy is a myth?

To answer this question, Ayeisha is joined by Jo Littler, a reader in sociology at City University of London and author of Against Meritocracy’, and Sam Friedman, associate sociology professor at LSE and author of The Class Ceiling: Why It Pays To Be Privileged’.

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