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Introduction to the series by Christina Koutsoukos
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Alain de Botton

The pressure of measuring up
Status anxiety is a buzz-word of the 21st Century; a creation of the modern age describing the worry we put ourselves through as we consider whether or not we’re good enough in the eyes of the world… whether or not we have enough or are ‘keeping up’ quickly enough. But who’s judging us? Who’s putting these pressures on us? Alain de Botton discusses his book – Status Anxiety – with Christina Koutsoukos. (Running time: 20 mins 54 secs; Download: 19.0MB)

Conversation focus 
  • Feelings of anxiety, nervousness and worry about our status in society are normal especially during times of transition (for example: finishing school or university, starting a new job or starting a family).
  • The media influences our views of status. Don’t simply accept the dominant status system in society based on material achievements.
  • Everything we do is of value – it’s time to stop comparing ourselves with others 

About Alain de Botton 

Born in Switzerland in 1969, Alain de Botton is a contemporary philosopher and author of a number of books. He uses his books to unite his own thoughts and experiences with the theories and writings of many others to offer insight and understanding into why we do, think and feel in our everyday lives. Alain also gets involved in television production and more recently has been running Seneca Productions, a production company that aims to make programmes “that are at once great fun and ambitious in their subject matter.” Read more about Alain at www.alaindebotton.com/cv.asp

Latest books by Alain de Botton
The Architecture of Happiness (2006) 
Status Anxiety (2005) 

Useful resources 

Website: www.psychologytoday.com 
: How to Get Over Status Anxiety by Carlin Flora 
Self Tests: Psychology Today offers a number of professionally developed self-help tests. Scroll down to the Health section and test your levels of social anxiety.

Original artwork by Nicola Hensel
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