Status Anxiety

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Status Anxiety (2003)


We are richer than ever before. We live longer, own more property, and indulge in greater luxuries. So why aren’t we getting any happier? One concern, above all, keeps us awake at night: status. Am I a success? Have I made it? Do I have the right car, the right clothes? Do people think I’m a loser? And should I really care?

In this compelling three part series, Alain de Botton challenges the idea that what we do, where we live and what we own, should define our status and determine our happiness. Alain believes we are right to worry about status but that we are looking for it in the wrong places.

With the help of some of history’s greatest thinkers, and a wealth of intriguing and eccentric characters, Alain looks at how the idea of status has changed over the past 200 years and sets off on a journey through Britain and the US to discover some radical and exciting ways for us all to feel like winners.

Episode List

Status anxiety is a worry about our standing in the world, whether we’re going up or down, whether we’re winners or losers.
50 minutes
In the modern world, status anxiety starts when we compare our achievements with those of other people we consider to be our equals.
48 minutes
Status anxiety is generally worse than ever, because the possibilities for achievement (sexual, financial, professional) seem to be greater than ever. We explore some avenues of resistance.
48 minutes

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