Oliver James

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Author, Affluenza

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The clinical psychologist believes that extreme inequality and the pursuit of wealth has distorted human values and led to a form of mental disorder, or ‘affluenza.’ In presentations and in his latest book The Selfish Capitalist, Oliver argues that short-termism and an obsession with market solutions increases the sense of insecurity. As painful as it is, he sees a benefit in the economic crisis if it makes western culture move the emphasis from ‘having’ to ‘being.’


Oliver James is a chartered psychologist, writer and broadcaster. He is the author of several books, including Affluenza, which examines the role that consumerist aspirations play in making us miserable, and Office Politics, a look at the whys and wherefores of various workplace personality types.

A regular on television, he has provided psychological insights on a wide range of shows from Question Time to programmes looking at murder, celebrity and Frasier Crane. He presented The Chair for BBC 2, a series that put celebrities on the psychologist’s couch, and in which Peter Mandelson famously shed a tear.

Oliver has produced and presented several other television series about the issues surrounding mental illness, and various psychological aspects of British society. He also presented a series for This Morning on child development and is a regular contributor to several broadsheet newspapers.

Oliver’s other books include The Selfish Capitalist, They F*** You Up – How to Survive Family Life, and Britain on the Couch, which was made into a two-part documentary for Channel 4. Other books have looked at emotional health, dementia, and the lessons which can be drawn from David Bowie’s family difficulties.

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