Coverart for item
The Resource Merit : the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century, Joseph F. Kett

Merit : the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century, Joseph F. Kett

Label
Merit : the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century
Title
Merit
Title remainder
the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century
Statement of responsibility
Joseph F. Kett
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
The idea that citizens' advancement should depend exclusively on merit, on qualities that deserve reward rather than on bloodlines or wire-pulling, was among the Founding ideals of the American republic, Joseph F. Kett argues in this provocative and engaging book. Merit's history, he contends, is best understood within the context of its often conflicting interaction with the other ideals of the Founding, equal rights and government by consent. Merit implies difference; equality suggests sameness. By sanctioning selection of those lower down by those higher up, merit potentially conflicts with the republican ideal that citizens consent to the decisions that affect their lives. In Merit, which traces the history of its subject over three centuries, Kett asserts that Americans have reconciled merit with other principles of the Founding in ways that have shaped their distinctive approach to the grading of public schools, report cards, the forging of workplace hierarchies, employee rating forms, merit systems in government, the selection of officers for the armed forces, and standardized testing for intelligence, character, and vocational interests. Today, the concept of merit is most commonly associated with measures by which it is quantified. Viewing their merit as an element of their selfhood - essential merit - members of the Founding generation showed no interest in quantitative measurements. Rather, they equated merit with an inner quality that accounted for their achievements and that was best measured by their reputations among their peers. In a republic based on equal rights and consent of the people, however, it became important to establish that merit-based rewards were within the grasp of ordinary Americans. In response, Americans embraced institutional merit in the form of procedures focused on drawing small distinctions among average people. They also developed a penchant for increasing the number of winners in competition - what Kett calls "selection in" rather than "selection out"--In order to satisfy popular aspirations. Kett argues that values rooted in the Founding of the republic continue to influence Americans' approach to controversies, including those surrounding affirmative action, which involve the ideal of merit. -- Book jacket
Member of
Cataloging source
YDXCP
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
Series statement
American institutions and society
Merit : the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century, Joseph F. Kett
Label
Merit : the history of a founding ideal from the American Revolution to the twenty-first century, Joseph F. Kett
Link
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt1xx5th
Publication
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Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Introduction : the faces of merit -- Republic of merit -- Merit and the culture of public life -- Small worlds : competition in the colleges -- Making the grade : managed competition and schooling -- The scientific measurement of merit -- The "presumption of merit" : institutionalizing merit -- Squeeze play : merit in government -- Merit in crisis -- Epilogue : merit, equality, consent
http://library.link/vocab/cover_art
https://contentcafe2.btol.com/ContentCafe/Jacket.aspx?Return=1&Type=S&Value=9780801467677&userID=ebsco-test&password=ebsco-test
Dimensions
unknown
http://library.link/vocab/discovery_link
{'f': 'http://opac.lib.rpi.edu/record=b4329853'}
Extent
1 online resource.
Form of item
online
Isbn
9780801467677
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
c
Specific material designation
remote

Library Locations

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