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Du statut social

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,269 Ratings  ·  439 Reviews
"This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we're judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety." "Alain de Botton, asks - with lucidity and charm - where worries about our status come from and what if anything we can do to surmount t ...more
374 pages
Published February 9th 2005 by Mercure de France (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tom Tabasco
Apr 30, 2016 Tom Tabasco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Status Anxiety" by Alain De Botton is a sparkly book that, for the most part, I enjoyed immensely. However, like other readers, I have some problems with it.

First of all, a gentle reminder to everyone who approaches a "philosophical" book like this one: all this rationalizing of reality can be helpful sometimes, but it is often overestimated, especially by academics. Even though it should be obvious, people tend to forget that reality stays exactly the same, with or without philosophical analys
Jun 10, 2008 Ruzz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: brad
Shelves: 2008
this book claims to be absent any original ideas. It cites long (and I mean long) standing philosophical precepts, draws on well worn wisdom and largely repeats what has already been said.

what's remarkable then is that it does so in such a clear and erudite manner that nearly every part of it--and it follows the whole would--makes sense. fundamentally.

it offers no cure for status anxiety (as there isn't one) but it does give great insight into its roots, and some of the ways people have managed
Corey Fry
Jul 04, 2007 Corey Fry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a job
I loved this book. However, if you're going to read it, be ready to analyze your life, question your ambition and search for ways in which you can better treat your fellow humans.

I love comparitive philosophy. I especially love it when it's well-researched and well-written. Alain's style is conversational and informative but he doesn't come of sounding academic and esoteric. You learn from his research that our modern day obsession with 'stuff' isn't a modern convention.

I loved this book and re
I've read other books by de Botton and (unlike some readers) enjoyed his chatty style and self-deprecating anecdotes. This book is less personal and has more of an essay feel, but the modus operandi is still graceful, readable synthesis and organisation of material from various philosophers. He aims to explain and offer relief for 'status anxiety' in a culture, 'the West', where status is conferred by wealth. I found this book helpful, as I quickly realised that I can explain my attitude to 'Wes ...more
Matt Harris
Apr 01, 2013 Matt Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I drop my daughter off to her Early Learning Centre in the mornings, I sometimes hop out of the car and away from it with her as quickly as I can. Anxiety about my old Toyota Corolla with the salt-affected roof, and the missing wing mirror actually produces changes in my behaviour which have been frustrating, annoying me. These parents at my daughter's ELC have Mercs, Cayennes. At the very least; large, clean, new cars.

It was with this particular instance in mind that I approached Status A
Semih Eker
Jul 13, 2016 Semih Eker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kütüphane
Alain de Botton'un bir filozof olması sebebiyle açıkçası esere başlarken biraz korkarak yaklaştım. Konunun ağır olacağını ve anlatımın beni zorlayacağını düşünmüştüm. Esere başladığım anda bu düşüncelerim tamamen kayboldu ve kendimi inanılmaz bilgilendirici bir kitabın içinde buldum.

Statünün tanımı, tarihsel olarak varoluşu, endişenin sebepleri ve baş etme yöntemleri gibi bir çok konuda bilgi veriyor. Anlatım aşamasında o kadar düşünür, yazar, şair ve esere atıfta bulunuyor ki takip etmesi gerç

Underwhelmed. Botton is erudite, eloquent, wide-ranging, interested and interesting. He claims that we are consumed by status, and status anxiety, because we lack something more profound than the material satisfactions can hope to be. Veritas. He offers quite a few alternatives to the snobbery and mendacity which is obvious to many, if not most, in conspicuous consumption.

But that's sort of the problem- it's all possibility, perspective. Botton diagnoses the problem, surely, and has a lot of le
Oct 07, 2009 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting. I don't tend to read this kind of thing, but I saw his TED talk about status, and despite status being something I don't think about a lot, his delivery was interesting and he had some solid ideas.

The book's a short philosophical exercise that goes through causes, and then solutions, of anxiety we feel about status. Both run the gamut from religion, politics, lovelessness, history, and other ways of looking at how we've looked at life over the last couple millennia. Do we pu
Bill Kupersmith
This is a most wonderful book & I am most grateful to Sara my GR & real-life friend for steering me to it. It did not tell me anything I'd not known before, but it organized & put everything together to yield excellent & valuable insights. It may look as if I took forever to read it but actually I never read more than a few paragraphs @ a time while on the elliptical trainer. One of the insights I found most clarifying was that in Antiquity & the Middle Ages when the status o ...more
May 11, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Status Anxiety offers a generalized history of Western conceptions of status and the ways that art, philosophy and religion have mediated, supported and challenged these definitions. After several examples chosen from the broadest of time frames, de Botton only briefly mentions how this history can be related to our current time period and doesn't offer any ingenious perspective on how current institutions, behaviors or practices could mediate, support or challenge our current definition of high ...more
Chris Gottlieb
Entertaining, but not his best: I'm usually quite a fan of Alain de Botton's writing but I found this book a little disappointing. De Botton has a consistent style and approach: a light-touched, urbane tour of the great minds, usually in search of resolutions to widespread issues or questions, in this case the causes and potential solutions to status anxiety. It is a pick and mix of philosophy, art and economics: not in such large chunks as to be indigestible and sweetened with wit and amusing e ...more
James Marinero
Jul 08, 2011 James Marinero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was sailing to Brazil - achieving a lifelong ambition and leaving the rat race for a year or thereabouts. So, I was ready for this, with an open mind (eventually 78 nights at sea, many of them on my back looking at the stars). So, what about the book?

Completely different to 'On Love' and 'The Consolations of Philosophy' (thanks Peter at for putting me on to Alain de Botton), the basic idea that our current system of measuring people on a scale of wealth (an
Feb 20, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shinynickel
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. de Botton uses his usual clear and accessible style of philosophizing to dissect just why it is we never seem to be happy where we are, and just what it is that makes us always want more. This is one of those books that should be read once every year. de Botton is probably my favorite living author, and this book hit me at just the right moment in my life, but I suspect it will be relative and useful to me my whole life long.
Adam Wiggins
Status is a cornerstone of human existence. Absolutely everything we do — going to school, getting a job, finding a mate, socializing with friends —is dominated by what standing we have in the groups of people that we are doing these things with.

I wish I had understood this earlier in life, because it explains so much about human behavior: schoolyard bullies, how people flirt in nightclubs, and the rituals of kings, governments, and religions.

A major point in the book is that "status anxiety" is
Jul 20, 2010 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a perfectly delightful book - well-written, thoughtful, careful and creative in its interaction with history, and replete with well-chosen quotations. Not a full length essay, but pieces of ideas that fit into a kind of argument quite nicely. The first five chapters include the causes of status anxiety (lovelessness, expectation, meritocracy, snobbery, and dependence) and the second half examines potential solutions (philosophy, art, politics, religion, bohemia). He early on defines status ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A kind and relevant reminder, which is sympathetic and a thoroughly useful self-help book in grasping and dealing with the insecurities which affect most people regardless of their social status. An exploration of the possible causes and solutions to status anxiety. Initially, exemplified by the end of unconditional love leading to lovelessness. Secondly by snobbery which is characterised by childish often juvenile notions of belonging such as only being interested in people who are not interest
Todd N
Mar 15, 2016 Todd N rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is the second of two books by Alain de Botton that I've read this month. The first one was about the ability of philosophy to console us during life's trials. This book is an examination of the causes and potential cures for social anxiety, which he defines as "a worry ... that we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society and that we may as a result be stripped of dignity and respect."

Living in hypercompetitive Silicon Valley and having experience
Dec 16, 2012 Qi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was published in 2004 ( and they still paint a vivid picture of today's modern world. It is also called "affluenza", a form of overstimulated consumerism based on self-fashioning which has already do its job by spreading to the developing worlds.

In the personal life sphere, the status anxiety is fueled by the slogan such as "be the best you can be", the triumphant pursue of American dreams of bigger house, better clothes, and most often the envy
Aug 31, 2009 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Serena by: Wendy Yu
I had a really great review for this book and then my computer crashed...apologies since this version won't be as good or comprehensive. Overall I'd say that the book was more didactic than I was expecting, but that won't stop me from reading more of his works.

Maybe it's schadenfreude, but there's nothing wrong with validation on our natural human feelings of insecurity, especially given today's economic state. de Botton never gets too preachy as his premise is grounded in several historical exa
Jul 01, 2016 Arzu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inceleme
geceleyin yıldızların altında olmanın keyfini çıkartmasını biliyor, başkalarının acılarını anlamayı ve dindirmeyi becerebiliyorsan yeterli işte..
gerisi boş..
Sushmita Rao
Jul 31, 2016 Sushmita Rao rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As you grow older, you become more and more practical. Some people (like me) move from fiction to non-fiction because the latter is more practical. Reading fiction is all about appreciating beauty, empathy, love, etc, but at the end of the day, it is not going to food on your table (there are exceptions though). To become more smarter, I reduced the amount of fiction I read, which is actually a stupid idea. And if you are wondering why I'm writing about fiction in a review about a non-fiction bo ...more
Jul 02, 2016 Rishabh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Status anxiety is the price we pay for acknowledging that there is a public distinction between a successful and an unsuccessful life."

An analysis of our concern about our status in society, this book calls attention to how often we measure our self-worth from what others think of us, instead of assessing one's worth based on one's own unique individuality. This book contains a great deal of facts about the definition of status by the society throughout the years. The book is divided into two p
Michael Battye
Jan 08, 2016 Michael Battye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a perfect summer holiday read. I picked it up in a second hand bookshop during a roadtrip and then proceeded to consume it in a manner of days. I enjoy a good self-help book that can articulate my fuzzy thoughts and theories, and De Botton delivered this with additional perspective. He breaks down how the meritocratic system of western culture has evolved to imply financial achievement as a measure of success and 'goodness' - despite its inherent unfairness. The so-called 'even playing ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a thorough look at a nagging feeling we all experience from time to time: keeping up with the Joneses, whose grass naturally seems to be greener. I became interested in this subject while driving through Palo Alto, during my usual morning game of “count the Teslas”.

Like in many of his other works, de Botton draws effortlessly from Western art, literature, and philosophy to make larger points about social structures and the human condition — the sort of thing I, as an overeager under
Jun 03, 2009 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After beginning with a solid, fairly engaging introduction to the concept of status from a cultural anthropology perspective, de Botton lurches awkwardly into a discussion of religion, science and art. The problem is, he fails to make the connection between these and his original thesis abundantly clear. I wasn't sure what he intended to convey by the end of this book. Wasted time, but at least not too much.
Billie Pritchett
Oct 23, 2015 Billie Pritchett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Alain be Botton's Status Anxiety is a wonderful little book about the ways in which a rush for social status and a preoccupation with material gains has made us all worse off. Botton explains that in societies today, people tend to believe in meritocracies and idealize their own countries as meritocracies. This means assuming that the people who are on top in society are on top because of hard work and ingenuity and the people who are at the bottom or who are perhaps distributed throughout the m ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we're judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety.

We care about our status for a simple reason: because most people tend to be nice to us according to the amount of status we have (it is no coincidence that the first question we tend to be asked by new acquaintances is ‘ What do you do?’). With the help of philos
Thomas Edmund
In his 300 page thesis, Alain De Botton provides us with a thorough examintion of status, and the anxiety which stems from not having it. The blurb initially makes a comparison between romantic desire and the desire for status or 'world love', but rather than looking into status desire as an individual trait, the majority of the book explores cultural perspectives on what is considered high-status.

The strongest chapters discuss how we perceive status as a comparative idea, and how what is consid
Justin Douglas
Had I discovered this book when it came out in 2004, when my teenage self was just starting to question mainstream society's idea of success, it would have saved me ten years of a dull strain of chronic "status anxiety." Completely unaware that that's what it was—and that's exactly the audience de Botton intends to reach—I started devouring, vainly, all the latest books on happiness, only to find that their solutions didn't quite get to the heart of the matter.

"Status Anxiety," on the other hand
Ryan Holiday
Jul 05, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was good but not amazing when I read it, but now that a few months have passed I think of it fairly often. I ended up quoting it in my book and it turned me on to a handful of other writers I now like (and Gustave Dore's awesome drawings of future cities in ruins from the 1800s). The book can be a bit dense at times and I think that is why I had trouble with it at first, but it is full of important digressions and memorable lessons. For instance, the purpose of tragedy in Greek soci ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Statusangst, please add ISBN13 3 13 Sep 07, 2015 05:20AM  
  • Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
  • The Age Of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard To Be Happy
  • Affluenza
  • Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others
  • The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations
  • Practical Wisdom: The Right Way To Do the Right Thing
  • The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • The Reason Of Things
  • The Philosophy of Friendship
  • Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More
  • Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals
  • Growth Fetish
  • Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything
  • Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy
  • Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature
  • On Desire: Why We Want What We Want
  • The Individualized Society
  • How to Stay Sane
Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life. He can be contacted by email directly via

He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif
More about Alain de Botton...

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“That said, deciding to avoid other people does not necessarily equate with having no desire whatsoever for company; it may simply reflect a dissatisfaction with what—or who—is available. Cynics are, in the end, only idealists with awkwardly high standards. In Chamfort's words, 'It is sometimes said of a man who lives alone that he does not like society. This is like saying of a man that he does not like going for walks because he is not fond of walking at night in the forêt de Bondy.” 172 likes
“Not being understood may be taken as a sign that there is much in one to understand.” 137 likes
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