Causes: Snobbery (Notes from Status Anxiety)

Notes from Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety (2004). This is the fifth post on this topic; the first is here.


Snobs give highly conditional attention. They believe there is a flawless equation between social rank and human worth.

When with a snob, we sense how little of who we are, apart from our status, will be able to govern their behaviour towards us.

As babies (if we’re lucky), we’re loved and looked after for who we are, presumably [I would argue with this.]. As we mature, affection from others depends on achievement, on our being polite, successful, etc.

Snobs combine a weak capacity for independent judgment with a strong appetite for the views of influential people.

(I’m sure de Botton said much more than this, but this is all I wrote down!)


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