Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

Book Summary: Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton - Ryan Delaney

The Book in a Few Sentences

Fantastic inquiry into our desire for status, what it means for our lives and ideas for breaking free. Insightful, articulate and mischievously funny. Alain de Botton is a contemporary among a long line of clever French philosophers.

Status Anxiety summary

This is my book summary of Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.

Part One: Causes

I: Lovelessness

Our Need For Love, Our Desire For Status

II: Expectation

Material Progress

Equality, Expectation and Envy

III: Meritocracy

Three Anxiety-Inducing New Stories about Success

First Story: The Rich Are the Useful Ones, Not the Poor

Second Story: Status Does Have Moral Connotations

Third Story: The Poor Are Sinful and Corrupt and Owe Their Poverty to Their Own Stupidity

IV: Snobbery

V: Dependence

Factors of Dependence

Dependence on an Employer

Dependence on the Global Economy

Part Two: Solutions

I: Philosophy

Philosophy and Invulnerability

Intelligent Misanthropy

II: Art


Art and Snobbery



III: Politics

A Political Perspective on Modern Status Anxiety

IV: Religion



Twin Cities

V: Bohemia

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