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Meritocracy, I wish!


Franklyn Addo is a talented black teenager from London who is making a name for himself as a rapper and has been lauded in the liberal press for getting into Cambridge. He wrote in The Guardian on Monday to set the record straight. He did not choose to study sociology at the LSE instead of Cambridge because he wants to stay close to a music scene (these days it’s all online, duh!), but because academically the LSE meets his needs better. He is undoubtedly a bright guy and I one for one am delighted he has a passion for sociology. It’s a pity then that he had to say this:

People from deprived areas must assess their way of thinking and begin to understand that society is becoming increasingly meritocratic and that anything is possible with hard work.

Would his personal achievement be any less commendable if he were to admit that because he had luck and good guidance on his side that he has not been a victim of institutionalised discrimination? Just because he has not, does not mean it does not exist. There are at least a few good sociologists at the LSE who will hopefully put him to rights!

Alana Lentin