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15 Pages

Conclusion

Beyond neoliberal meritocracy
ByJo Littler

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This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of the book. This book outlines meritocracy's historical genealogies in contemporary social theory and political rhetoric and its manifestations in popular culture. It explores how the meaning of neoliberal meritocracy was created through multiple contexts- social, cultural and political. Taking politics as it key object, the book outlines how the UK's political sphere in the neoliberal period since the late 1970s has popularised the idea of meritocracy. There are more narratives in popular circulation which are exposing the meritocratic myth as being in crisis, and there are some which challenge it. But this destabilisation of a 'secure' neoliberal narrative of meritocracy has not simply involved progressive movement towards a more egalitarian future. On the contrary, it has been seized upon by new variants of neoliberal and neo-national discourse.