The Just Meritocracy: IQ, Class Mobility, and American Social Policy

The Just Meritocracy: IQ, Class Mobility, and American Social Policy

The Just Meritocracy: IQ, Class Mobility, and American Social Policy

The Just Meritocracy: IQ, Class Mobility, and American Social Policy

Synopsis

The author provides a detailed investigation of the facts surrounding human mental ability, its measurement, inheritability, possible neurobiological underpinnings, and its role as a currency in human mate choice. He links human mental ability with educational attainment, occupational attainment, occupational prestige, and earned income. The ethical and policy implications are profound for both liberal democratic and libertarian social thought.

Excerpt

Class, sex, and race are commonly recognized within sociological science as the most significant causal variables explaining contemporary patterns of social stratification and inequality. It is one thing to agree on the importance of these variable, however, and quite another to properly conceptualize them and identify the mechanisms by which they are made effective. In stark contrast to the extreme socioenvironmental determinism found in many standard sociological textbooks, The Just Meritocracy: 1Q, Class Mobility, and American Social Policy takes up the first of these variables—class, or socioeconomic status—and defends the following thesis: Individual-level variation in class mobility is significantly mediated by inherited variations in individual mental ability. Therefore, if contemporary social policy is to adequately address differential class-mobility patterns, the nature of this heritable component must be taken into account. A revised humanistic public policy will result that does empirical justice to the scientific discoveries regarding variation at the individual level, and, by suggesting new types of environmental and genomic intervention, we may more fully realize our ethical ideals.

The Just Meritocracy and its sequelae now in progress arose as part of my own effort to analyze, clarify, and refortify the ethical foundations of distributive justice and equal opportunity in contemporary American society. It marks an important milestone in a journey that originated in university-acquired Marxian orthodoxy (Kamolnick 1988, 1990, 1993), engaged various waves of “isms” (e.g., postmodernism, poststructuralism, post-Marxism) that crashed upon academic shores (Kamolnick 1994a, 1994b, 1997, 1998, 1999a, 1999b, 2001), to, finally, my investigation and scientific appropriation of the psychological and genetic theory and research warranting the argument of this book. September 11, 2001 and its aftermath also left its indelible mark. I did not experience that event as a conversion experience but instead as another very, very important event that decisively confirmed for me what I had already dissected in . . .

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