So, the latter part of the article, which yes I finally finished, focuses on meritocracy. Earlier in the article, the authors say this:
Canadian institutions operate as pure meritocracies when it comes to admissions, and admirably so.
Um, no they don’t.
Meritocracy is the (false) idea that if you work hard you will achieve financial and/or professional success. The model of meritocracy doesn’t account for systemic barriers such as racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and all the other ways that people and communities are marginalized and oppressed. The model of meritocracy acts as though all that counts is your individual hard work. Therefore if you don’t succeed … presto! … it’s your fault.
It’s handy how hegemonic structures reinforce each other isn’t it? Annoying as hell but definitely handy.
But by the latter part of the article they become mired in the US data, since the “issue” of those nasty folks of colour wanting to attend university has been a bigger issue in the US, and for a much longer time. From the white folks’ perspectives, it’s something that’s needed to be handled by limiting non-white, and particularly non-WASP admissions as much as possible. They’re still working on it, and are pretty successful from all accounts.
Canadian universities, apart from highly competitive professional programs and faculties, don’t quiz applicants the same way, and rely entirely on transcripts. Likely that is a good thing. And yet, that meritocratic process results, especially in Canada’s elite university programs, in a concentration of Asian students.
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