implicitly valorizes meritocratic ideals

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lekal

Senior Member
Chinese
Dear friends,
Public anger over economic inequality frequently targets meritocratic institutions. Nearly three-fifths of Republicans believe that colleges and universities are bad for America, according to the Pew Research Center. The intense and widespread fury generated by the college-admissions scandal early this year tapped into a deep and broad well of resentment. This anger is warranted but also distorting. Outrage at nepotism and other disgraceful forms of elite advantage -taking implicitly valorizes meritocratic ideals. Yet meritocracy itself is the bigger problem, and it is crippling the American dream. Meri-tocracy has created a competition that, even when everyone plays by the rules, only the rich can win.

(Meritocracy 's miserable winners.
by Daniel Markovits)

How to understand the sentence in bold?Does it mean "Outrage at nepotism indirectly make meritocratic ideals valuable"?

Thank you.
 
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Valorize in this kind of context means something like validate and add value and promote an idea. It is often used in situations where the validation is a side effect or unintended consequence or an effect not obvious to the people involved. And I think it is usually used when the author is critical of the thing being described this way. And usually about an idea that is itself huge, and multi faceted. Meritocracy, patriarchy, violence, etc.

    It is a word out of contemporary social criticism and rather vague. It is not spoken in regular conversation.

    I did a brief Google and was surprised to see this meaning isn't really in the definitions.

    For instance you might say that a seemingly innocuous children's cartoon show actually valorizes war or male violence. The children and parents don't understand this, but you the social crituc do. :)
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The OED has two meaning - both centring on "giving a value to":
    to raise or stabilize the value of (a commodity, etc.) by a centrally organized scheme;
    1921 Contemp. Rev. July 53 It attempted both to regulate the output and to stabilise and to ‘valorise’ the prices.

    gen. to evaluate, to make valid.
    1984 Christian Sci. Monitor 2 Mar. b8/4 He has actually managed to suggest that the mire and blood, the ‘refuse’ of the embittered heart, is valorized by the poetic artifacts created from it.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The OED has two meaning - both centring on "giving a value to":
    to raise or stabilize the value of (a commodity, etc.) by a centrally organized scheme;
    1921 Contemp. Rev. July 53 It attempted both to regulate the output and to stabilise and to ‘valorise’ the prices.

    gen. to evaluate, to make valid.
    1984 Christian Sci. Monitor 2 Mar. b8/4 He has actually managed to suggest that the mire and blood, the ‘refuse’ of the embittered heart, is valorized by the poetic artifacts created from it.
    Ok that last is the definition I'm thinking about.
     
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