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    Media and Education Policies and the American Dream

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    Although media and educational institutions support the idea of meritocracy by over representing a portion of the population in positions of power - most notably white, male or domestically born - they also perpetuate the idea that the failure to achieve the American Dream can be attributed to individual shortcomings.

    Provide specific examples of how media and education support the idea of meritocracy and also how these institutions may have actually prevent groups from succeeding in society?

    How are the two institutions of education and media similar and how are they different when it comes to these issues?

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    Supporting meritocracy
    1. They support the status quo and do not question it. For example, media and educational institutions reflect the discourse that if you work hard enough, you will achieve success because American society is equal. Meritocracy is only fair if everyone begins in life with equal opportunities and that those opportunities continue to be equal throughout life. The assumption is that people who are most talented and capable should be rewarded through positions of power or compensation.

    2. First of all, assessments of what intelligence is and what deserving is are embedded within media images. Countless images of white powerful men first create a standard to which power is measured. Those who best fit this iconic notion of power are usually promoted within companies. Also, mostly for women, beauty is often measured by how much one's appearance is similar to what is seen in magazines, TV etc. Those who do not fit, are not rewarded.

    So media creates and perpetuates an image of success and power. Those who best emulate that image are rewarded regardless of ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution outlines media and educational institutions; how they support the idea of meritocracy and then how they prevent certain groups from achieving success. Concrete examples given. One book reference provided.