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Old 19th October 2006, 07:25 PM   #1
Ben
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Default Notes in Spanish Advanced 51 - Ansiedad por el Status

Listen here and pick up the worksheet here.

¿Sufrimos todos del Ansiedad de Status?

Last edited by Ben; 1st June 2007 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 24th October 2006, 10:16 PM   #2
Edith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Listen here and pick up the worksheet here.

¿Sufrimos todos del Ansiedad de Status?
Creo que es algo muy común. Mucha gente se deja llevar por lo que está de moda y es muy difícil distanciarse de eso por completo. Tengo que admitir que me gustan mis cosas eléctricos como el ordenador, el ¡pod o la cámara digital. Y los CDs, por supuesto.

Es verdad que la ansiedad de estatus es más importante en la ciudad que en las regiones rurales. Creo que los medios de comunicación también juegan un papel muy importante en eso. Ahora la cirurgía estética está muy de moda en el mundo occidental y también en algunos países latinoamericanos y asiaticos porque la gente ve programas como 'Total Makeover'. Les gusta tener un cuerpo perfecto porque afecta su estatus social y gastan mucho dinero para alcanzarlo.

Los todoterrenos son una molestia en las ciudades, ¡estoy completamente de acuerdo!

Last edited by Edith; 28th October 2006 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 16th October 2009, 07:15 AM   #3
berniet
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Default Am I The Only One Who Thinks You Missed the Boat On This One?

Advanced Podcast 51 - Ansiedad por el Status


The following is MY opinion and I am sure that there are some who would disagree.


I have gone through the podcasts in numeric order and this is the first one that really inspired me to start typing. I hope I don't step on too many toes!


You have missed the boat. When an American asks you what you do for a living, your answer probably
indicates little about your income or "status". Your job gives me an idea of who you are. I personally don't know or care about a person's income or "status" when I ask what they do for a living.


If you tell me you are a police officer, I will assume the following;
You work strange hours.
Your marriage is in trouble.
You are under stress often.
You are not easily fooled.


If you tell me you are an attorney, I will assume the following;
You are a crook or a power freak or both.
You are someone not to be trusted.


If you tell me you are a nurse, I will assume the following;
You work in a horrible environment, under incredible stress, and because of that life-style, you must be decisive and aggressive to do your job.
You are exposed to nasty germs all day.
I will talk to you from a distance.


If you tell me you are a receptionist, I will assume the following;
You answer the phone all day, I won't be planning on any long conversations on the phone with you.
You are good with handling people and their quirks.
You tend to be good at juggling tasks.


If you tell me you are a social worker, I will assume the following;
You care about people and are really easy to fool and work very hard. In a few years you will be a very different person.
OR
You don't care about people and you feed at the public troth in a cushy government position and wouldn't know a good day's work if it came up and bit you on the backside. You will be the same person 30 years from now.


Whether you agree with any of the above assumptions on not, did you notice something? I didn't glean any real information about their income or "status". The lawyer may or may not be a successful crook. The nurse could make a good income in an emergency room or could work part time at a nursing home. As for the receptionist, every company pays them differently. Some receptionists only answer the phone while others can run company payrolls in their spare time. It depends on the person and the company culture and the company size. As for status, what status? I know medical doctors who spend most of their life paying off debts. I know one receptionist makes a lot more than I ever will. Income and status are not necessarily related.


From what I listened to in the podcast, you seemed to confuse money and status. They are not the same thing. Maybe my Spanish is so bad that I'm missing your point but I went through the worksheet and came to the same conclusion.


In the United States, the assumption is that with hard work and determination one can achieve a great deal. In other words, what you are going to accomplish in your life is dependent on what you are doing and what you know, rather than what your parents did and who you know. There are few positions with any "status" in the United States; The American president, a state governor, a supreme court judge, a rock star, the currently hot actress would be the main ones. Interestingly enough, each person would give you a different list of jobs that have status. The one thing I can guarantee is that every American would have a fairly short list of jobs that they think have "status".


Put another way, your job is your focus. Your focus is your potential. If I know your focus, I have a basic idea of who you are AND WHO YOU WANT TO BE!


I read an extremely brief summary of the book Status Anxiety and it is clear to me that the author truly does not understand the reason why a meritocracy is a good thing. Granted, there are always exceptions and people with connections and/or money who cheat the system. But any other approach means that the truly deserving are not given their due. He fails to cover that issue and in doing so, shows that he is wearing blinders. If one does not believe in achievement and reward for achievement, what do they believe in? If you don't want to work all that hard, that is ok. You won't receive large economic rewards but maybe you will receive other rewards based on the things that you concentrate on. However, if you want to work hard and achieve, why is that a problem? If I chose to excel, do I really care what someone who does not thinks? The books says something to the effect of: "if our current set of values offers true happiness and contentment to only an elite minority, the democratic solution is to change those values". His solution is to destroy achievers and glorify those who aren't. This is madness. I would say "if my values offers me less than true happiness I must either change my values or better myself". Notice, at no time did society have to do anything to make me happy. It's all on the individual to look to their own objectives and goals.


While I completely disagree with your read on the "status" question, I tend agree with your point about questions about the family but NOT your reasoning.


We tend to get the family questions in an indirect manner. Once we know you and you know us, then we are more comfortable getting into those areas. I would never answer a question about family to someone I didn't know extremely well. I would be shocked by anyone who would. In the United States, it isn't that we don't care about our families. I can assure you that there are many people who, once they start talking about family, never seem to stop! We tend see family as a private matter. You are correct in saying that in general, family is not as central to us.


One last point. You mentioned that people ask "¿Cómo es tu pais?" I do not believe that any American traveling in Europe is going to touch that question without thinking very carefully first. As long as the subject matter avoids politics, it might be ok to very delicately answer the question. If one strays into an area that involves politics, the potential for unpleasant interaction could be significant. Put more directly, if I answer that question and the other person tells me that he really hates my country, that person will find out that there are Americans who don't spend all of their free time going around the world apologizing, unlike our idiot-in-chief president. Notice how quickly that question went directly to politics and strong feelings?


Make no mistake about it, I love your podcasts. I have expressed my position aggressively because I like clear communication. I have expressed MY opinion and I believe that everyone else is entitled to their own as well.
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Old 16th October 2009, 08:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for your comment. I think the main thing that the status anxiety book is trying to put across is the problem many people have today in worrying how their own status might be percieved by others (and that this is the fault of an image-driven society).

"Do I look successful? Is my house good enough compared to my peers? How about my car? Does my job sound/look good to others?" - The anxiety is more about the focus on oneself, not on judging others, and I believe it is a very real problem for a lot of people, unfortunately - I know I suffered stupidly from this anxiety for years.

The next stage in this argument is 'how do you define success?' - I suggest you watch this video here, I think you will find it interesting.
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Old 16th October 2009, 02:10 PM   #5
berniet
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Default Linkage between success and job

I was trying to show that the question asking what you do for a living is not necessarily the "status" question that you believe it to be. As of a few years ago, it was estimated that the average American changes their career three times during their lifetime. Since people change careers, goals, and circumstances throughout life, "status" doesn't have any long term meaning and in the United States most of us are very aware of that fact.


As for the video, he is saying pretty much what I expected. He links envy to equality. He then sneaks "highly unlikely" into the realm of inequality. Since I will probably never have Bill Gates success, I must be disadvantaged. By the way, he falls into his own trap. Bill Gate's life is not my definition of success. The guy then talks about two types of books; how to succeed and how to cope books. He is providing his version of how to cope as a solution to a problem that is mostly his invention.

Bottom line. If you are poor, it does NOT necessarily follow that you are a loser and most Americans understand that VERY clearly. But we would also be the first to say that just because you are rich doesn't mean that you are a success. In other words, his argument is based on a framework that DOES NOT EXIST!


If you look at every major disaster relief in the world, Americans send the money from their personal accounts in FAR larger quantities than any other nation in the world. That statement can be verified by checking the PERSONAL donations worldwide, any statements to the contrary ALWAYS ignore the personal donations. I'm not talking about government dollars, I'm talking about personal funds. If Americans believed that those in undeveloped nations were losers, we wouldn't care.


I don't want to beat the subject to death, I just wanted to point out that you may be looking at Americans through a European perspective and we have a very different approach.


The short answer to your question about my definition of success is as follows. I want a job I like. I want to be able to study languages, watch movies, read books, and be reasonably comfortable doing so. I want to own a vehicle with low maintenance needs. I want to paint my house next year. I'm still working on the painting the house goal. I've been contemplating the painting goal for ten years.


Whatever the case, I love the podcasts.
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Old 17th October 2009, 09:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the compliment about the podcasts, and good luck with that house painting goal!
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