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English term alienation is derived from the original Latin noun alienato, which in turn is derived from the Latin verb alienare meaning to “take away”

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Presentation on theme: "English term alienation is derived from the original Latin noun alienato, which in turn is derived from the Latin verb alienare meaning to “take away”"— Presentation transcript:


2 English term alienation is derived from the original Latin noun alienato, which in turn is derived from the Latin verb alienare meaning to “take away” or “remove”. The Latin usage of the term resulted in two meanings: “Transfer of ownership of Property” and “a state of separation or dissociation” between two elements. The meaning of the term as “transfer of ownership” was largely used by social-contract theorists such as Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. In social – contract theories, an alienated worker was one who gave up or surrendered personal “rights”, “liberty”, “powers”, and “controls” to the general will of the community or organization.


4 JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE – (1790) – Alienation between the self and nature G.W.H.HEGEL – Alienation is inherent in the nature of all spiritual creation KARL MARX – Alienation is Product of human creation MAX WEBER – Alienation due to Rationalisation/Bureaucratization C.W.MILLS – Alienation of middle class Professionals in service sector Andre Gorz; Herbert Marcuse – Alienation from work and leisure Robert Blauner – Alienation and technology Goldthorpw and Lockwood – Work alienation M.Seeman - subjective or psychological facet of alienation

5 Inspired by Kantian Dualism – What “is” and What “ought be” Nature Self Coercion (Heteronomy) Freedom(autonomy) No choice Choice Since freedom involves choice, the power to do otherwise, freedom is possible only if it is taken outside the sphere of nature entirely and placed in intellectual or noumenal realm.

6  Critical to Fichte  Used in two senses. First, “Transfer of property” and “state of separation”.  Described in the books “Philosophy of rights” and “Phenomenology of mind”. In the former it sensed “transfer of property” whereas in the later it was used in both the senses “transfer of property” (surrender or transfer of individual rights) and “state of separation”. Former is desirable, later undesirable.  The conscious state of separation is undesirable and major concern for Hegel.  Alienation is inherent in all spiritual creation  Individual phenomena  Provided a Non-historical approach  Sees alienation as a necessary characteristic that haunts people through all time, irrespective of their material conditions.  Alienation is a state of mind, consciousness, idea which has nothing to do with the material condition and undesirable.

7 Transfer of Property i.e. surrender state of separation/consciousness or transfer of individual rights Deliberate for unity with “a condition which occurs when a social substance certain change in a person’s self-Conceptions takes place. It is neither something one does nor the intended result of a deliberate action” to be overcome through continuous and deliberate relinquishment or surrender of one’s personal interests

8  Brought Alienation from spiritual realm to material realm  Root of all alienation is economic alienation steeped in the concept of private property  Provided Historical approach  Alienation was non-existent in primitive communism. It originated during ancient society due to surplus production and consequent emergence of private property. It reached to its maximum during capitalist mode of production due to strictest concept of private property.



11 ALIENATION FROM PRODUCT Worker lacks control over the disposal of his product since what he produces is appropriated by others, So that he does not benefit from it. It is the core principal of the market economy that goods are produced for exchange; in capitalist production, the exchange and distribution of goods are controlled by the operations of the free market. The worker himself, who is treated as a commodity to be bought and sold on the market, thus has no power to determine the fate of what he produces. The workings of the market act in such a way as to promote the interests of the capitalist at the expense of those of the worker. Thus ‘the more the worker produces the less he has to consume; the more he creates the more worthless he becomes’.

12 The worker is alienated in the work task itself. The work task does not offer intrinsic satisfactions which make it possible for the worker 'to develop freely his mental and physical energies’, Since labour is imposed on worker by force of external circumstances alone', (Economic division of labour) Work becomes a means to an end rather than an end in itself: This is shown by the fact that ‘as soon as there is no physical or other compulsion, men free from labour like the plague’. The extreme division of the labour coerces worker to do a part of the whole work. The repetitive nature of work doesn't satisfy worker.

13 ALIENATION FROM HUMAN BEING In capitalist mode of Production workers becomes commodity of exchange. Instead of creating object it becomes object itself. Since all economic relationships are also social relationship, it follows that the alienation of labour has direct social ramifications. This takes Marx back to his starting-point; human relations in capitalism, tend to become reduced to operations of the market. This is directly manifest in the significance of money in human relationships. Money promotes the rationalisation of social relationships, since it provides an abstract standard in terms of which the most heterogeneous qualities can be compared and reduced to one another. He who can purchase bravery is brave, though a coward. Thus, from the standpoint of its possessor, it exchanges every quality and object for every other, even though they are contradictory.

14  According to Marx, eating, sleeping and procreating is essentially the nature of animal. Human being is separated from animal in this regard. During capitalist mode of production, due to higher working hours and mechanical work process they are reduced to consume, sleep and procreate only. Alienated labour reduces human productive activity to the level of adaptation to, rather than active mastery of nature. This detaches the human individual from his species being, from what makes the life of the human species distinct from that of the animals.

15 ALIENATION OF CAPITALISTS Bourgeoisie is also alienated due to anarchy of market forces. He does not produce what he wants or what is needed by others but those commodities which is to procure more profit. He is enslaved by market forces and his enjoyment is mere satisfaction of capital accumulation. In other words, capitalists doesn't produce to satisfy his creative instinct but for exchange.

16  The degree of alienation can be reduced somewhat within the capitalist framework by 1.Reducing the working hours – thereby providing leisure time to workers. 2.Making the working condition humane.  But Complete elimination is possible only through the establishment of communist mode of production. Even socialist mode of production will contain some degree of alienation.


18 MAX WEBER His analysis is rooted in his theory of action and rationalization of society. Types of Action Affective Traditional Rational Society is moving towards greater rationalization and its greatest manifestation is in bureaucracy which expects its members to act in “formalistic impersonal” manner i.e. without passion and hatred. Thus bureaucrats act like a machine loosing human nature hence alienated.

19  Applies Alienation on non-manual American Middle Class study entitled “White Collar”.  Explanation is limited to non-manual workers working in tertiary sector of economy in advanced capitalist societies.  Just as manual workers become like commodities by selling their skills with things, a similar process occurs when non-manual workers sell their skills with persons' on the open market. Mills refers to this sector of the economy as the 'personality market'. A Market value is attached to personality characteristics and as a result people sell pieces of their personality.  Because aspects of personality are bought and sold like any other commodity, individuals are alienated from their true selves.  He goes to the extreme of referring these workers as prostitute as he says “in the salesroom, in the boardroom, in the staff room, in the conference room, men and women are prostituting their personalities in pursuit of personal gain”.

20 1. Worker’s are alienated not only during working hours but also during leisure time in modern industrial society. 2. During Marxian period when he explained alienation in 1844, workers had to work around twelve to sixteen hours, with no or little leisure time if they have any. Due to subsistence wages and appalling living condition workers had no means of self fulfillment. 3. Contrary to Marxian period, with the advance of industrial society the wages of the workers have increased and also they have been granted leisure time through regulation on working hours.

21 4. It appears that the opportunity for self-fulfillment in leisure has greatly increased but many Marxists argue that this opportunity has not been realized. 5. Gorz and Marcuse present such pessimistic view of possibility of self-fulfillment during leisure period. They picture a mindless 'happy robot' compulsively chasing 'false needs'.

22 Andre Gorz  French journalist and Sociologist  Capitalist society shapes leisure activity in the same way as it shapes working day.  Creates passive consumers finding satisfaction in consumption of products of manufacturing sector and entertainment industries.  Satisfaction in these products is a poor substitute for self-directed and creative leisure.  Hence labour remains deprived of true self-fulfillment hence alienated during leisure time too. Herbert Marcuse  American Sociologist  One dimensional man (book)  Applies to both capitalist and East European communist societies.  Self-fulfillment during leisure time is based on and directed by 'false needs' which are largely imposed by a mass media controlled by the establishment.  The people recognize themselves in their commodities, they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment.

23 Criticism of Marx’ theory of alienation Marx's theory is based partly on a rather vague picture of what man could and ought to be perhaps it says more about the values of particular sociologists than it does about man's essential being Marxian perspectives are very general. They tend to lump together diverse occupations and leisure activities and created a simple model of 'man in industrial society‘ – Robert Blauner Marx and Marxists tend to ignore the meanings held by members of society. If people claim fulfilment in work and/or liesure, there is a tendency to dismiss their views as a project of false class consciousness - Goldthorp and Lockwood & Blauner

24 1. Wrote the article “Alienation and freedom” 2. Critical to Marxian treatment of uniform alienation across different sectors of industries irrespective of the work nature and technology and the concept of false consciousness. 3. Considers workers attitudes as a valid measure of their level of alienation. If workers express satisfaction with their work, they are not alienated. 4. Associated the degree of alienation with the type of technology rather than the relations of production. 5. Examined behaviour and attitudes of manual workers in the printing, textile, automobile and chemical industries. 6. Blauner divides the concept of alienation into four dimensions 1. Powerlessness - The degree of control workers have over their work; 2. Meaninglessness - the degree of meaning and sense of purpose they find in work; 3. isolation - the degree to which they are socially integrated into their work; 4. self-estrangement - the degree to which they are involved in their work.

25 7. Out of the four sectors, Blauner has found workers of printing sector (study was conducted at a time when mechanical type setting was not widespread) as non-alienated along the four dimensions. Textile workers experience powerlessness and meaninglessness but not isolation and self-estrangement. Alienation is found in its most extreme form in assembly line production in the auto-mobile industry where they experience powerlessness, meaninglessness, isolation and self-estrangement all. In chemical industry because of automation, workers do not feel powerlessness and also non-alienated in terms of other three dimensions.

26  Affluent worker study in Luton  Do not see workers' attitude and behaviour as a function of production technology. Instead, the way workers define and give meaning to their work largely accounts for their attitudes and behaviour.  They found that across the production technology workers defined work primarily as a means to an end, in particular as a means for obtaining money to raise their living standards.  Refer the affluent workers' relationship to their unions as 'instrumental collectivism'.

27 Separated a variety of different psychological states, which he measured by attitude scales. 1. Powerlessness -refers to people's feelings that they cannot influence their social surroundings, 2. Meaninglessness is the feeling that illegitimate means are required to achieve valued goals. 3. Isolation -occurs when people feel estranged from societies norms and values. 4. Self estrangement -refers to an inability to find activities that are psychologically rewarding. 5. Normlessness -refers to a condition which perceives absence of norms.

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