- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza Paperback – 18 Dec 2008
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
"the nation's shrink" (The Times)
"James is charting the new frontiers in psychology" (Guardian)
Oliver James furthers the Affluenza debate with radical new arguments and looks deeper into the origins of the virus in this companion volumeSee all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Mr James has put together an interesting array of statistics which seem to indicate a STRONG connection between intense materialism and a wide range of mental health problems. He does point out that these connections are open to debate and are NOT facts.
The book also focuses on a wide range of aspects about our modern world including a fascinating section on the so called 'war on terror'. This book is vital reading for all of us who want to make our own minds up about the state of the UK that we inhabit.
This book allows you to really understand the nature of the economy created by Thatcher and continued by Major and Blair. By reading 'The Selfish Capitalist' you can decide whether you desire more and more huge TVs, 4 x 4 cars etc or whether a society which focuses more on well-being might be better for ALL of us.
Areas that are more controversial (in my opinion) are Mr James views on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT and the importance of our childhood in influencing us as adults. Mr James may need to delve a little more deeply into the ways that the positive therapies like CBT and NLP combined with diet and herbs/amino acids can help people to feel great!
Mr James provides you with the information and statistics you decide!
In line with more orthodox thinking on Neo-Liberalism, James asserts that selfish capitalism is a phenomenon that has risen to prominence in the English-speaking world since the 1970's. While it has been a growing phenomena in other developed and non-developed countries, it is in the developed economies of the English speaking world that it goes deepest into the fabric our societies. Using data from WHO studies and other sources he demonstrates a clear correlation between income inequality (one of the pertinent and pernicious features of Neo-Liberal economies) and emotional distress. For the English-speaking world (Britain, U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia) the average incidence of emotional distress in the last 12 months is 21.6%, nearly double the level of other countries (Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and France) that average 11.5%.
James questions the standard shoulder-shrugging view that is disproportionately popular amongst those on the right: that mental health problems are in large part of genetic origin. The evidence he cites seem to indicate that this link is greatly exaggerated and environmental factors are of crucial importance. He also presents a variety of data on related issues that raises serious questions about how our society is structured vis-à-vis materialism and how this effects our mental well being. One interesting fact he brings up is that the greater part of the growth of economies and household income in the Selfish Capitalist world results from an increase in second earners and hours worked.
The few people whom I have known that work in Psychology seem to get bogged down in their own specialty for a whole variety of reasons. They appear to be shy - certainly in their professional capacity - about making explicit links to the bigger picture of how society is organized. With that in mind, it is refreshing to hear a professional psychologist discussing these issues in a holistic manner and not avoiding issues that are generally seen to be in the political realm.
James makes clear that there are elements of his thinking that he is pretty convinced of, and others that he is fairly sure of, but does appreciate that more research is needed to confirm his and others hypothesis and provide a more detailed picture. Despite the, in part, tentative nature of his findings this is a fascinating book. A strong case is made for the need to question the manner in which our society is developing and the values it promotes if it is serious about the mental well being and real development of all people, rather than peculiarly attending to the interests (to quote Adam Smith) of the few whose wealth has risen geometrically while for most earners wages have barely risen at all. In common with his earlier works it is written in an accessible manner for those who are not academic psychologists. For those with a phobia of statistics they should be reassured that they are explained in a clear and straightforward way and have been leavened with a healthy dose of anecdotal material for further clarity. Well worth reading.
The statistical links are clear: the US tops the league table of percentage of citizens suffering mental distress in the last year, with a whopping 26.4% seeking professional help. The right-wing economic reforms of Regan and Margaret Thatcher are held by James to be largely responsible for effects on individuals, with other countries such as New Zealand coming in at 20.7% in these results released by the World Health Organisation.
It is a situation we are all familiar with. The rich are getting richer, but there is little increase in net wages otherwise. The emphasis has shifted from saving to borrowing, and a pervasive obsession with emulating celebrities, or indeed, wanting to be one, has taken hold. The solution is, says James, to adopt the 'Unselfish Capitalist' systems of countries in mainland Europe and Japan, which retain pre-1979 economic agendas and have lower rates of income inequality.
As a read it is invigorating: it kind of articulates your concern. What it doesn't do is present contrary evidence, nor justify statements such that cognitive behavioural therapies, which are at least as viable as traditional psychotherapy, are the 'sticking plaster' to our wider political malaise. James may have a point, but he does not back up his views with evidence.
'The Selfish Capitalist' may be flawed for these reasons, but I feel James is going on intuition, and given soaring levels of debt, inequality and more and more people seeking help out of depression and anxiety, the link made between the psychological and the bigger picture has arrived right on cue.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Business, Finance & Law
- Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry
- Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Self Help > Practical & Motivational
- Books > Science & Nature > History & Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Psychology Textbooks
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences