Saturday, February 28, 2015

status anxiety and other animations at The School of Life

The School of Life website was recently created to ostensibly address important things that are typically not taught in the formal process of schooling (see "about us"). The above video is among the rapidly growing TSL collection on YouTube. It defines what status anxiety is, why it's so common in modern societies, and concludes with suggestions about insulating oneself from its negative effects. An in-depth treatment of status anxiety is available in Alain de Botton's book of the same name, and his documentary film also available at the TSL site. Note: there are additional stratification-relevant videos at this site, including those on the works of Marx and Weber, and several on capitalism.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Linda Tirado and Hand to Mouth

For some first-hand insights about the stark dilemmas of living in poverty, view Linda Tirado's interview with Bill Maher. Linda's observations, available in full in her recent book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, are based at least in part on her own experiences--struggling to not just survive, but to achieve the American dream in a society indifferent to the poor. Although she speaks to the trap of poverty in her work, Linda ironically moved out of poverty overnight when her musings made on a online forum went viral and Random House offered her a book contract (see this Telegraph article for details re her upward mobility).