I was wondering if there is a word for "discrimination on the basis of education / area of expertise".

What I mean is a word to describe someones attitude toward geeks of some kind.

Example: I want to find a word that ungrounded feeling of inherent intellectual superiority toward a group of people with different education, e.g mathematicians towards physicists and vice versa.

  • Now that i re-read it, it doesn't seem like a great title.
    – Smiles
    Jan 9, 2014 at 13:28
  • If there can be postcodist thinking, there's always a possibility to cast a word for this.
    – Kris
    Jan 9, 2014 at 13:45
  • @Kris: That's a big if. Jan 9, 2014 at 15:50
  • 1
    @Kris: I'm quite familiar with the concept (which is more often evoked by the set phrase "postcode lottery"), but it took me a while to work out what you meant by postcodist thinking. Interestingly, Google reports 45 results for postcodism, but only 2 for zipcodism. Which presumably just goes to show the Brits are still a class-ridden society, by comparison with the US. Jan 9, 2014 at 16:57
  • @Cynic: Are we to assume you're asking about a word for the way some people (esp. artistically-inclined and/or stupid people) disparage scientists/engineers/geeks? Your title suggests you might be asking about the more general distrust felt towards people educated at Eton/Oxbridge (more a UK than a US attitude, I think, since Americans don't habitually slag off "the Harvard set" or similar). Jan 9, 2014 at 17:12

4 Answers 4


It's not localized to education, but a term that might work is collective/group narcissism, which WP says to be

a type of narcissism where an individual has an inflated self-love of his or her own ingroup

The terms collective narcissism and group narcissism appear to be equal in popularity, yielding about 500 hits each in Google Scholar. But these searches and an ngram search suggest collective narcissism is used slightly more.

Correct usage depends on the circumstances. For example, enmity between a group and only one other is not necessarily an instance of an "inflated view of one's ingroup" -- it may simply be disdain for someone else's -- but a new member adopting this enmity in order to feel part of the group arguably can be.

Note on first edit: My first edit mistakenly answered What is an antonym of "geek"? But, due to a sloppily written last sentence, it sounded like I was saying "people who use muggle to describe non-enthusiasts are geeks." My apologies to anyone who might have taken it this way; it was not my intention.

  • Surprised this was accepted, this really isn't an answer with enough specificity....No offense to OP, it's a good try, but seems a swing and a miss to me...
    – neuronet
    Dec 10, 2015 at 1:46

I have always used the phrase intellectual elitism.


It would be differentiation on the basis of expertise or specialization, not discrimination. I feel you want to use prejudiced.

  • 4
    Some citations would improve this answer, not least by reassuring us that you yourself know the relevant definitions. Jan 9, 2014 at 13:33
  • What @Tim said. But I'm not even convinced that justifies downvoting the answer, let alone flagging it as "low quality - needs attention from the mods". Jan 9, 2014 at 17:02
  • Can I know exactly why I'm not eligible to give answers anymore,I seriously think she wanted to mean prejudiced.i don't give answers if I don't think it's conclusive,atleast from now on I solemnly say I won't .
    – Argot
    Jan 9, 2014 at 17:06
  • @Anshu: I don't know why you can't give answers anymore. You could ask on meta, but my guess is it might be because the two downvotes reduced your "reputation" and that restricted your "privileges". Note the upvotes for Tim's comment - if you were to edit this answer to include links and/or definitions for the three highlighted words, those downvotes might be retracted/reversed (they probably wouldn't have been cast in the first place if you'd done this when you originally posted the answer). Jan 10, 2014 at 13:13

I usually use morphosism (my neologism) which is based on the Greek Morphosis (means education or used for well educated person). I am a psychologist and I find morphosism to be the basis of so much elitism and discrimination on the island of Cyprus where I live and at the University where I teach.

  • -1. Marios, I doubt anyone would understand you if you said you were subjected to morphosism - in fact, I suspect most would assume it's some kind of disease. You might like to read our site guidance, especially How to Answer and Tour. Jun 12, 2019 at 8:25

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