A broken down social elevator, with fear of losing status, the French company seems sclerosed and locked up in its pessimism. In view of this, it is tempting to blame the republican school, the preparatory classes and the 'grandes écoles' for maintaining production of the elite. It is true that measures must be taken to restore more equal opportunities in the access to higher education, and to train executives that are representative of the country's social and cultural diversity. Certain establishments have set up channels reserved on territorial criteria. Others, such as ESSEC, have chosen to develop an original system of tutoring between students and high-school pupils from working-class or disadvantaged areas. This device curtails self-censorships, restores self-confidence, regenerates cultural capital, and makes courses of excellence attainable to young people who would never have imagined attending them. Ten years after its launching, this program, illustrated in this work by analyses and many testimonies, has undeniably opened realistic and sustainable ways in which 'right' and merit can become reality once again.
DARDELET, C., HERVIEU-WANE, F. and SIBIEUDE, T. (2011). Une grande école : Pourquoi pas moi ? Le droit au mérite. Armand Colin-Longman, 201 pages.