To begin, according to Coakley, social class refers to
categories of people who share an economic position in society based on their
income, wealth (savings and asses), education, occupation, and social
Meritocracy first of all is a social system in which people
have the power or status because of their abilities and intelligence, rather
than because of their wealth or social status. In other words, meritocracy is getting
a reward based on their own ability and talent. It usually applies to a more
serious amateur sports programs and clubs in which there is an emphasis on
competing for positions and rewards and moving to increasingly higher levels of
With the practice of meritocracy, it leads to social
mobility of the society.
Usually, the higher-class people would participate in much
more lavish and expensive sports, whereas the lower-class people are somehow
forced to play sports that do not require a large budget to participate. This
serves as a reflection of class values where people of the higher classes are
often involved in sports that have more available resources and better
facilities because they are able to afford them more than the lower-class
people. As such, they can aid in their ability to progress to the next level.
Comparing to the people of the lower-class, they often do not have those
resources which hinder their ability to progress and move to the next level.
The inequality of social class in sports shows that much of
the talent of the lower-class athletes goes unnoticed and untapped and as a
result, leaving the world of sports falling short of its potential.
Meritocracy can be an unfair way to structure a society but
it is not really taken into account as external factors that affect people’s
performances. People with giftedness and ability will succeed in these
societies while those who do not will be downgraded to lower positions.
Meritocracy best describes boxing because winning is the
currency and the fighter’s abilities solely determine their fates.
Using Manny Pacquiao as an exampke, Manny is a Filipino
boxer who has been fighting since 1995. He comes from a poor family and he does
not have a perfect record. Who would have thought the best boxer in the world
used to collect scrap for his food?
He didn’t even have the money to study in school or college.
When he started, he had no formal trainings and according to his uncle, it
seems impossible to see Pacquiao ever becoming a fighter. However, what set
Pacquiao apart was his attitude. He had great self-discipline, he picked things
up fast and he practised all the time. From a scrawny school dropout, Pacquiao
is now a boxing champion. Here, there is meritocracy as even though he came from
a poor background, he is now one of the most respected boxers.
Anyone can be that someone as long as he has the capacity
and the ability to perform the tasks and responsibilities given to him/her. Basically,
in Manny Pacquiao’s case, based on his efforts and desires, he had moved from
one social class to another.
It is important for all societies to create a system that
allocates people to different social positions and then give appropriate
incentives. This is because it will help to motivate the people to climb to a
higher class. As such, it helps to encourage people to strive higher. If not,
then nobody would be inspired to do better. With meritocracy, there will be
inequality in the sense that not everyone will get the best. However, with the
inequality, then it can help to encourage people to strive high and work harder
to get to the higher social class.