Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
This short documentary series by Alain de Botton continues to look at our theme of how our obsession with money and status can be a huge obstruction to our happiness. The documentary series opens with de Botton’s assertion that “the past 200 years in the West have seen staggering increases in wealth and economic opportunity and yet there have been no comparable increases in our levels of happiness. Despite being so much richer than a few generations ago we are often more anxious about our own importance and achievements than our grandparents were”.
Alain de Botton refers to this anomaly as “status anxiety” and aims to explain where this has come from, how it affects our lives and what we can do about it. Part 1 of the documentary looks at how we compare ourselves with others who we consider our equals (in terms of rights and opportunities) and this can lead to disappointment if we feel that we have not attained the same level of success as our peers.
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 12th June 2012