For the United States and Meritocracy, I’d say we definitely have this, and is shown in various ways. The definition of meritocracy is an “ideal system based on the belief that social stratification is the result of personal effort.. that it determines social standing” (Openstax). For this being in America, the belief is from almost everyone is that if you work hard, push yourself and set high goals, that you will become more successful than someone who did not have the same intentions. Looking at an example of doctors, they will spend many years after just receiving a bachelors degree, in school still, constantly working hard, studying and doing other things to get to their goal. Therefore, after they finish all their schooling they will have a high income, become very successful and have a higher social standing. Their hard work paid off.
I agree with Karl Marx’s idea of social stratification and the perspectives. The conflicts theorists believe that this belief “benefits only some people, not all of society” (Openstax). I liked the books example of how a basketball player is paid millions of dollars to play a game but a school teacher is paid around $35,000 a year. This example just shows the difference between the rich and the poor, the hard workers in physical acts and the ones who spend years and years in school. I also agree with how these theorists believe that there is still a strained relationship between an employer and an employee. I see this a lot in my workspace.
With the question if humans are self -centered my nature, I believe yes we are. A human will do whatever they can do have the power and respect by others, they will sometimes use their higher power for good or for bad. Going back to the meritocracy, people who work hard and earn their living, will sometimes come across as self-centered, when in reality everyone is self-centered in their own way.