Universal Job Snobbery in Capitalist Society|The Psychology of Snobs | How to respond a Snob?

Job Snobbery

Has universal job snobbery influenced your career choice? What do you feel when announcing your job title to people around you or to a stranger? 

A snob is someone who defines your self-value totally by your social title at workplace or wealth level as a person. At parties and any social gathering, there will be an iconic question you will encounter “What do you do”? The fact is if someone fails to identify with your career, they are unable to appreciate your self-worth either.

“One woman I highly respect told me that telling people she sold business forms for a living was a conversation ender!” SHERRY CLAYTON, Has job snobbery influenced your career choice? (2012)

Greg Smith, an executive who resigned from Goldman Sachs stated in a spectacular fashion asserts “I’ve learned from my own experience that job titles are unreliable short cuts to assessing the character of a person.”

According to Alain de Botton, we live in an age where our lives are marked by a  career crisis because we are surrounded by snobs. He said that job snobs would either incredibly excited to meet you or make excuses to end the conversation based on your job title. And would you personally define a person based on his or her job title?

The Interrelationship Between Job Title, Power and Prestige

According to Alain de Botton, emotional rewards can be more powerful than monetary reward. Power and prestige are highly associated with a person’s job position and that’s what people desire. People desire to be recognized and envied in the public eye.  In a sense, the acquisition of securing more material goods has been linked with a person’s power, ability and self-value in a capitalist society. With more wealth on hand, it might be somehow helpful to boost a person’s self-esteem, freedom, and self-autonomy.

The problem is that the mainstream media’s definition of a good job is a well-paid job with money. And nothing else. That’s truly arbitrary, isn’t it?  As I observed,  if you try to be a writer or professional painter, most people would question your decision. That’s job discrimination indeed. That’s probably the reason why most artists are struggling and suffering in their career path. Usually,  it takes years or even a decade to complete a book. It time-consuming and it demands patience and absolute perseverance. And you would never know people would love it or not.  What if people stop creating any books,  painting or music? 


Worldwide Snobbery: The psychology of snobs|How to respond a Snob?


By the early 19th century, the term ‘snob’ means a person who lacks breeding’, and the snob often refers to social climbers. Nowadays, snobbery has been a rampant phenomenon on a worldwide scale.

In my viewpoint, snobbery manifests a common human weakness, literally pride and prejudice. The symptom of snobbery might be rooted in bad experiences of being discriminated or disadvantaged.

According to the dictionary, snob refers to someone who behaves condescendingly to others and strives to socialize with those of higher social status or more wealth than themselves.

The snobs treat people around them according to superficial criteria such as people’s background, profession, outfit or wealth level. They value people’s value by what they dress rather than the way people speak. Snobs tend to disregard or deprecate those who earn less than themselves.


▲Inverse snobbery in large part could be regarded as a reaction or disdain to counter against the status claims of the snobs.

Social position and property are the common two things that people measure superiority in a capitalist society. More and more people try to feel good or feel better about themselves by acquiring more material possessions so as to secure social recognition or approval from the public.


Self-achievement and Self-actualization

How do you evaluate people’s worth? How do you earn respect and recognition? Do you secure self-confidence from yourself or from other’s responses? How to lead a meaningful, satisfactory and purposeful life?   

Financial independence is a necessary route to self-autonomy and freedom. For sure, money promise a person more choices, but nobody can not earn trust or affection by money. Indisputably, the world is full of miserable or depressed people with great wealth. Money can better your life quality but can’t promise you happiness.


How to fend off snobbish behaviors from Others?

In an analysis of workplace envy, University of Connecticut business professor John Veiga and his co-authors (2014) proposed that we become envious when we believe our social standing is being threatened.

In a sense, self-satisfaction can be the antidote. Inner contentment makes a person strong and undefeatable. Take pride not in becoming a better me rather than feeling better than someone else.

Those who tend to put others’ down to make themselves feel better are the weak and helpless ones.





Relevant Articles 

Jennifer Weiner: why I’m waging war on literary snobbery

Literary Snobbery : Women Writers, Women’s Books

Job snobbery: a new pandemic

Ray slams unbelievable ‘job snob’ emailer

Snobbery is outdated – universities have to train students for jobs

Don’t Be a Book Snob by Michelle Chahine


Relevant Videos 

What Are You Worth? Getting Past Status Anxiety



Wise Library 1985

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