Blog #2- Status Anxiety

The video “Status Anxiety” explains the reasons why so many Americans have negative feelings towards status. Weber defines status as stratification according to principles of consumption of goods and services (lifestyle). First off, most people are envious, it is a natural emotion, and when we see people we consider our “equals” succeeding, it causes anxiety. Succeeding can be anything from getting a job promotion, buying an expensive car, etc. Status is so important to people because it shows where you stand on the social latter. The more you have the more respect you think people will show you. Everyone is always trying to compete and hope to appear a certain way when really they are not like that at all. For example, just because you have an expensive car it does not make you rich, it just shows that you spent all your money on the car so people think you are rich but really you are not. I actually know someone who spent all their money on a beautiful Porsche, and I wondered how someone so young could afford that on their own, but it turns out he blew all his savings on that car just to appear a certain way. It is so sad what lengths people will go to these days. For some reason these materialistic objects make people feel superior to others, which is why other people may get angry, especially when its just to impress other people. In Weber’s theory of The Distribution of Power: Class, Status, Party, he explains that power is the chance a man has to realize their own will in a social action even against the resistance of others. Every man wants power and people feel they must look and act a certain way to achieve that.

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2 responses to “Blog #2- Status Anxiety

  1. Its so funny that you mentioned that example because I know somebody who once told me, they would rather have a Ferrari than live in a house. Whether or not he meant it, I dont know. But it is pretty sad and to put it bluntly, pathetic. People do desire power, but society has constructed that idea that power comes along with materials and status, which ties in to Weber and Marx’s theories.

  2. It’s interesting that you mention equality in this post, there are so many people who believe that others are simply not on their level. The belief however its natural, even animals display altruistic behavior even when around others. The belief that status is in equilibrium with extravagant commodities is laughable, I personally know people who dress in designer clothing but cannot afford a car or housing; how is $600 shoes supposed to pay the bills?

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