Melatonin for the American Dream: The Meritocracy and Popularized Sport

25 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2021 Last revised: 10 May 2021

Date Written: December 9, 2020


Sport and the meritocracy has had close ties since the professionalization of sport here in the United States. This tie has been observed through various lenses; such as the American Exceptionalism, rise of the Protestant Ethic, industrialization and many more. However, in recent years the United States has shifted largely into a more polarized nation between social equity and government interference. Today, we see riots and debates in regards to feminism, sexuality and racism; all shedding light to the myth of meritocracy. These fights can be seen just as vividly on the streets as we can see it in professional sport; with the NBA wearing Black Lives Matter jerseys, the US Women’s National Team taking organizations to court and sports casters inevitably commenting on various social issues. So then, has the idea of meritocracy through sport survived all of this? If so, why does it still linger in the minds of the American people? I see that the political nature of sport, use of mass media and the educational system allows the meritocracy to form, objectify and get further rooted in the sports culture here in the US everyday.

Keywords: Meritocracy, Sport, American Dream

Suggested Citation

Fukuzawa, Hosanna, Melatonin for the American Dream: The Meritocracy and Popularized Sport (December 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

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