Is It Time to Let Meritocracy Go?
Examining the Case of Singapore
Routledge Critical Studies in Education Series
Despite meritocratic claims of equal opportunity, official statistics released by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, reveal that a large segment of the Malay population has sustained the lowest academic achievement from 1987 to 2011. This statistical representation raises the possibility of a politically induced, systemic inequality as a point of investigation.
To investigate this seeming contradiction between the rhetoric and practice of equal educational opportunity, Nadira Talib analyses education policies by drawing on a synthesis of philosophical perspectives and critical discourse analysis as a way of making explicit how the historical constitution of the learner is linked to the legitimisation of inequitable education policies that favour corporatist practices. By making explicit how the underlying assumption of the policy ‘logic’ that increasing expenditure on ‘talents’ must necessarily involve the increasing welfare of everybody is both unsubstantiated and arbitrary, the book presents a moral political problem in demonstrating how education policies are unfounded and unsupported through the idea of meritocracy.
1. Introduction: Questions and Themes
2. Creating the Conditions for Division and Structural Inequality: The Human Being as a Historical Construct
3. Using Genealogy and Ethics to Investigate the Conditioning of Human Beings into Moral Subjects who Desire More
4. Micro-meso-macro Movements: A Multi-level Critical Discourse Analysis Framework to Examine the Value of Truth
5. Theme 1: Metaphorical Realism
6. Theme 2: De/regulation
7. Theme 3: Political Economies of Surrealism
8. Inequality as Meritocracy
Nadira Talib holds a PhD from The University of Queensland, Australia. She focuses on developing a method of synthesising philosophical deliberations with discourse analysis in analysing social policy.