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Elite Formation in the Educational System: Between Meritocracy and Cumulative Advantage

  • Richard Münch
Chapter

Abstract

The competition paradigm assumes that competition between educational institutions leads to better education which raises income levels. If there is equal access to better education, then it is possible to speak of a meritocracy. The elites within such a meritocracy are considered to be legitimate incumbents of their position. Thus the internationalisation of elite formation should lead to the establishment of a legitimate global meritocracy. However, drawing on a conflict-theoretical perspective shows that such claims are contradicted by some of the evidence examined. Intensified competition results, in fact, in the emergence of a new kind of “aristocracy”. This argument is examined drawing on the example of the USA and the role of international university rankings.

Keywords

Elite formation Competition in education Meritocracy New aristocracy Global elite 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Münch
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für SoziologieOtto-Friedrich-Universität BambergBambergGermany

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