In this, the second of our podcasts on Core Beliefs, we expand upon the concept to consider Core Beliefs from the wider social context . We ask how experiences of social inequality can impact the individual’s beliefs about themselves and the world they live in. Touching upon David Smail and Social Materialist Psychology, we also discuss the connections between poverty and poor physical and psychological health.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


The original Sarah O’Connor article on Shit Life Syndrome that is mentioned in the podcast can be read here,

In the last few years there have been some excellent books that examine the impacts of poverty in Britain such as Scottish rapper Darren McGarvey’s ‘Poverty Safari’, which won the Orwell Prize for political books in 2017. McGarvey looks back at his upbringing in the Pollok district of Glasgow, with his four siblings: To give you a bit of a flavour, Mc Garvey writes,

‘Four out of five have experienced alcohol or substance misuse problems at some point. Five have experienced long term financial problems which involve debilitating debt or defaults and poor credit history.’ The list goes on: ‘Five have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of a care giver … five have experienced health problems associated with poor nutrition and lifestyle.’ Then, in stark contrast: ‘Zero have gone to university. Zero are on the housing ladder. Zero have any savings. Zero go on foreign holidays at least once a year. And none of us care for Radio 2, yoga or Quorn-based food products either.’

Many films made by Mike Leigh in the late 90s and early 2000s explore the lives of ordinary people struggling against difficult life circumstances. This clip is from his 2002 film ‘All or Nothing’ featuring a very young James Corden. It’s a pretty good depiction of a family trying their best to survive against the odds.

The 2002 film ‘Precious’ is the story of 16-year-old Precious who lives in Harlem with her unemployed mother Mary who is abusive to her. Precious is very overweight and has been subjected to physical, verbal, and sexual abuse throughout her life. Although the film is about a young woman in dire circumstances it’s also a film about hope and how Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily life. The film features Mariah Carey without make up and an amazing lead performance from Gabourey Sidibe who had no prior acting experience.