12 Sep '11, 1am

"Meritocracy is an unforgiving system that does not consider the impact that social backgrounds can have...

MR KOO Tsai Kee's commentary on Tuesday ('Social mobility carried three Tans to the Istana gate') praised Singapore's cornerstone of success, meritocracy. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to vital resources like education and health care. But in reality, meritocracy remains a limited system that does not, and cannot, benefit everyone. This reality is even harsher in a country like Singapore, which is marked by a highly complex class system that divides the country based on economic power and cultural capital. Mr Koo underestimated the importance of cultural capital in aiding an individual's social mobility. Cultural capital includes one's social assets, such as social connections, access to popular culture, cultural knowledge, travel experiences and so on. Compare a child who comes from an upper middle-class family, whose parents are high-level professionals a...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Story/STIStory_711294...

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