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Lesson 8 The worker as Creator or Machine --- by Fromm, Erich (1900-1980)

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 8 The worker as Creator or Machine --- by Fromm, Erich (1900-1980)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 8 The worker as Creator or Machine --- by Fromm, Erich (1900-1980)

2 Objectives of Teaching 1. To comprehend the whole text 2. To lean and master the vocabulary and expressions 3. To learn to paraphrase the difficult sentences 4. To understand the structure of the text 5. To appreciate the style and rhetoric of the passage.

3 Aims 1. To know the author, Erich Fromm 2. To learn the writing technique of causation 3. To appreciate the language features

4 Teaching Contents 1. Erich Fromm 2. Causation and the thesis 2. Detailed study of the text 3. Organizational pattern 4. Language features 5. Exercises

5 Time allocation 1. The introduction of the author (10 min.) 2. Causation and the thesis (10min.) 3. Detailed study of the text (115 min.) 4. Structure analysis (15 min.) 5. Language appreciation (15 min.) 6. Exercises (15 min)

6 Fromm, Erich 1. German-American psychoanalyst and author 2. Born in Frankfurt, Germany 3. Ph.D. University of Heidelbery 海德堡 大学 4. In 1934, he came to the US, practiced psychoanalysis and lectured at various institutions.



9 Fromm, Erich As a psychoanalyst, he applied psychoanalysis to social, political, religious, moral activities. He was particularly interested in the study of individual and society. He paid much attention to self human realization.

10 Fromm, Erich He took views of Freud and he attempted a synthesis (combination) and reformulation (systematical expression) of Freud and Marx.

11 Fromm, Erich He is also a self-styled Marxist, but his idea is against the theory of Marxism, for he used to view things from psychoanalysis, not from class struggle.

12 His point of view He held that man is a product of his culture. Social character is not determined by instinct (biological drive) but rather shaped by cultural training. 个体的人格是文化的产物,而不是 生物学的产物。

13 His works Escape from Freedom 《逃离自由》 The Sane Society 《健全的社会》 The Art of Loving 《爱的艺术》 Psychoanalysis and Religion 《精神分析学与宗教》

14 His works May Man Prevail 《愿人类成功》 The Revolution of Hope 《希望革命》 The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness 《人类毁灭之分析》 Beyond the Chains of Illusions 《越过幻想之链》

15 His works This piece is an excerpt from “ The Sane Society ” 1955. In this book, Fromm is mainly concerned with the effect of a sociological environment on Americans which exalts (praise) success through 1. competition 2. human alienation

16 that accompanies technological development which isolates the workman from the finished product.

17 alienate – estrange, turn away, set against, disunite, separate, divide Ant.--- unite, reconcile

18 The theme of the text This text is discussing the workers ’ position in the society. The workers are no longer creator but becoming more and more like machine. It is about men ’ s attitude towards work. Work has become an alienating factor.

19 The text The change of the meaning of work In ancient times, work ---- satisfactory, a pleasurable thing In modern times, work --- a duty, forced labor, The text deals with the reason and result of this alienation

20 literary style exposition The main thesis is better expressed in the first sentence of the deleted paragraph “ the meaning of work in an alienated society ”.

21 The thesis --- “ He is part of the machine, rather than its master as an active agent. ” (para.6)

22 The method The method the writer uses in the expository writing is causal analysis / causation 因果分析

23 Causation It means something happened is 1) because of sth else 2) as a result of sth. else In this lesson, the writer explained the reason why man changes the attitude toward work and its effect.

24 Detailed study of the text Para.1 --- the specific positive values of work

25 Para.1 What are the specific positive values of work? 1. Work enables human beings to rise from the animal kingdom. 2. Work liberates men from nature and makes them into social beings and work together in a cooperative way.

26 positive values: 3. Work molds and changes nature and himself. 4. Work develops man ’ s different powers, skills, capacities, personality and creativity.

27 Para.1 Man is first of all an animal, and he can be differentiated from other animals in that, among other things he produces, he makes tools, and other new things out of the raw materials he finds around him.

28 kingdom --- all natural objects have been classified into three great divisions 1. animal kingdom 2. vegetable kingdom 3. mineral kingdom

29 He separates …. By becoming nature ’ s master, by stationing himself above nature, man separates himself from nature. But at the same time he connects himself once again to nature to further conquer her and develop his understanding of her.

30 In molding nature … Man ’ s abilities and powers as a species, and man ’ e individual abilities and powers (of cooperation, reason and sense of beauty) increase and deepen as a result of controlling nature and remaking her to fulfill his needs.

31 all are expressions … All the above – mentioned work shows how man has transformed nature thought his reason and skill creatively.

32 Para.2 detailed description of the meaning of work to man.

33 Work was … satisfaction The paragraph deals with the subject of craftsmanship. According to Mills and Fromm craftsmanship involves the control of the work process by the individual worker. At its height in the late Middle Ages, it enhanced man ’ s productive powers and was a source of great satisfaction to the craftsman.

34 C.Wright. Mills An American sociologist, known as one of the very few outstanding social critics during the McCarthy period.his best known work is White Collar (1951), from which his quotation is taken, and The Power and Elite. He died in 1962.


36 McCarthy American politician. A U.S. senator from Wisconsin (1947-1957), he presided over the permanent subcommittee on investigations and held public hearings in which he accused army officials, members of the media, and public figures of being Communists. His charges were never proved, and he was censured by the Senate in 1954.

37 McCarthy 麦卡锡,约瑟夫 · 雷芒德 1908-1957 美国政 治家,来自威斯康星州的美国参议员 (1947-1957 年)。他指责许多军队官员、 新闻媒介内部工作人员和公众人物为共 产党,并指挥一个永久委员会分会对他 们进行调查和公开审判。他的指控从未 成立, 1954 年他受到议会的谴责

38 Why work was a pleasure to man? Because the worker is free to control his own working action. He is responsible for the whole production process.

39 Why does the writer use a quotation? to prove his idea in a more direct way to give a kind of authority to what he says ---- A paraphrase would not provide that directness and authority.

40 What does “ There is no split of work …” mean? There is a close relationship between work and pleasure. They go hand in hand. While the worker is working, he enjoys himself. When he is making sth, he learns sth.

41 Para.3 Background knowledge – why work is a duty? What ’ s protestant ’ s idea about work? They held that all men are born sinful. They must work hard to purify their souls. God then will take them to paradise after they die.

42 newly won freedom Freedom from feudal restrictions. The craftsman felt safe and secure in his guild and profession, but became afraid now that he was entirely on his own in a highly competitive society.

43 The outcome … Early Protestantism maintained that most souls are predestined by birth by God to eternal damnation and a few to be saved after death. But there’s no way that anyone can know which is which. obviously people lived in fear. All one could hope for was a sign from God that he might be among the elect, even though a sign was no guarantee.

44 It was believed that any form of sinfulness was likely indication of damnation, whereas ceaseless work, especially if it resulted in wealth, could be sign of salvation. Clearly, work lost all the intrinsic positive aspects it formerly had, and instead became purely and simply a method to achieve wealth and success.

45 asceticism --- a special term in religion self-denying mode of living a simple, strict way of life with no luxuries or physical pleasures, which people usually lead because of their religious beliefs.

46 Para.4 1. Work as duty, as a means for saving one ’ s soul exists only for the upper and middle classes. 2. Work as forced labor is for the laboring people.

47 Para.5 In capitalist society the worker feels estranged from the work he is doing.

48 modern man … With work stripped both of its craftsmanship quality and meaning and of its sense of religious obligation, it no longer holds any deep attraction. Therefore, people feel themselves at loss, with no purpose or direction. Life is empty. Work becomes merely a time-filler to escape the emptiness and meaningless of one ’ s life.

49 This is another psychoanalytic analysis of Fromm. We know the bourgeoisie amassed wealth through the exploitation of worker and the worker were forced to sell their labor in order to survive.

50 something new … A new ideological driving force for work has replaced the lost ones. The drive is now for more bigger, and better products. Fromm again misses the real point here. Profit is the real driving force of capitalism.

51 Para. 6 What role the worker plays in the manufacturing of products? A passive role, the worker plays a small isolated part in the process of production. He is not concerned with the whole product, because he makes only a part of it. His work can be explained as performing actions which can not be performed by machines.

52 He is concerned neither with … He doesn ’ t care about the end product itself or the part it plays in the overall economy or the way in which it serves the needs of society.

53 Peter Drucher Reknowned management consultant This quotation is taken from Concept of the Corporation (1946) p.179


55 Work appears as something unnatural …. To the worker, work seems like an intrusion, something which should not happen. It is an empty, unpleasant, deadening, degrading and pointless means to an end --- the pay check.

56 devoid of ---- lacking of If someone or sth. is devoid of a quality of thing, they have absolutely none of it. --- He was devoid of any talent whatsoever. --- Such plans have been almost entirely devoid of social content.

57 place /put a premium on --- 重视; 鼓励;助长 I put a premium on punctuality. Work paid according to the amount puts a premium on speed and not on quality. 按件付酬是导致重速度、轻质量的原因。

58 put a premium on Giving money to beggars may put a premium on idleness. Does high taxation put a premium on business dishonesty? 高税收是否助长了商业欺诈行为?

59 No wonder that this puts a premium.. It ’ s not surprising that the worker ’ s objective at work is to do as little as possible to get his pay.

60 slowdown --- deliberate decrease in the speed of production

61 slovenly ---untidy, as in dress or appearance, sloppy, Someone who is slovenly is careless, untidy and inefficient in their appearance and behavior 懒散的;草率的

62 para.7 work is a means of getting money; worker tries to work less to get the same pay

63 para.8 What is the root cause of this? How do you know?

64 para.8 The root cause of this alienation is the capitalist system. From the statement: “ The whole social organization of which he is a part ” (para.8) The worker is not active. He has no responsibility for the work he is doing. He is not interested in the whole product.

65 capital ----- The capitalist or the money of the capitalists that can hire worker and purchase all the other equipment necessary for production.

66 human problem of industry Industry is the main thing and the human worker is part of it. In the capitalists ’ eye, the workers are the trouble makers. If the worker ’ s problem is solved industry would go more efficiently.

67 industrial problem of human beings Fromm here attacks the attitude of the capitalists and society towards the workers. He thinks human being is the bigger thing and industry is the only activity of it. Man should be given the priority. Fromm is saying the psychological research should begin from the study of industrial problem among human beings instead of human problem in industry.

68 formulation formulate – to express in short clear form

69 underlying --- present but not obvious; implicit There are underlying similarities between all human beings. The underlying theme of the novel is very serious.

70 Para.9 Industrial psychologists are trying to manage and control the mind of the workers What problem are the industrial psychologists mainly concerned with? How to make the worker work more smoothly and efficiently

71 Taylor, Frederick Winslow (1856-1915) American engineer, inventor and efficiency expert who pioneered the principles of “ scientific management ” in industry and business.


73 “ in the name of …. ” Under the guise of improving relations between people, every possible trick/means is employed on the worker, which is only fit for the worker who is completely disinterested in his work. “ Happiness ” “ human values ” are also formulated in order to manipulate the worker.

74 “ in the name of …. ” 在人际关系的名义下,他们用适合于 对一切完全冷漠的人手段来对付工人 就是幸福和人的价值观也是从与公众 建立更好的关系这个角度提出来的。

75 It is going to … Better relations with the public will yield larger profits to management. The management will earn larger profits if it has better relations with the public.

76 pay off: to yield full recompense or return, for either good or evil

77 cold dollars and cents Cold cash; hard cash; nothing but money

78 attitude --- What ’ s Fromm ’ s attitude toward “ human relations ” and “ happiness ” ? 1. dehumanizing/robotizing relations --- inhuman relations 2. mechanical repetitive action which is without doubt compulsory

79 spontaneity spontaneous --- done, happening from natural impulse, not caused or suggested by sth or sb. outside. She made a spontaneous offer of help.

80 The alienated and profoundly … The two results of alienation and unsatisfactory character of work are: one, the desire as a goal in life, not to work; The other a deep-seated often unconscious hatred of work and everything and everybody connected with it.

81 Our advertising … Fromm thinks advertising nowadays appeals more to laziness and passivity than to the sexual appeal of women in order to sell their goods.

82 But this usefulness …. But such practical use only plays the role which rationalizes the appeal to extreme idleness and willingness to accept things. 但这种实用性往往只起着使追求 十足的消极散漫和坐享其成成为 合理化的作用。

83 Many a businessman … According to Fromm many businessmen fell trapped by the system which forces them to sell whatever they can regardless of the quality or usefulness the product.

84 He has a feeling … The businessman knows the quality of usefulness of his product is not what it should be. He despises the goods he produces, conscious of the deception involved. fraudulency: deceit, trickery, cheating

85 Only occasionally comes up … All these feelings, according to Fromm, generally lie dormant in the unconscious. Only occasionally he becomes aware of them, and he feels upset for a moment and then immediately forget them.

86 Sum up Fromm ’ s psychoanalytical approach becomes quite clear here. There is no trace of class analysis at all. In fact, Fromm sympathizes equally with the worker and the capitalist. Profit and exploitation of the workers as the main driving force of the capitalists are not mentioned at all.

87 Organizational pattern 5 sections Sect. I para 1-2 The writer deals with general positive values of work Para.1. the general idea of the meaning of work to man in ancient times.

88 Organizational pattern Para.2. more specifically states what work means to craftsman in 13-14 th century. Work was satisfactory pleasurable instructive meaningful He cites examples of craftsman in 13- 14 th century to illustrate work.

89 Organizational pattern Sect.II para 3-4 He deals with the change in the meaning of work to man, especially at the beginning of modern society (capitalism) What does work mean to man then? a duty and obsession ---upper middle class forced labor --- poor laboring people

90 Organizational pattern Sect.III para 5-7 He deals with the change in the meaning of work to man now. Work has become an alienating factor. Work alienates the workers from others, and worker has become part of the machine. He is not a master, but slave of machine.

91 Organizational pattern Sect.IV para 8-9 The cause of the changes The writer makes a general survey in the research of the causes of the changes from the industrial psychological point of view.

92 Organizational pattern The relationship between the worker and work is determined by the whole social organization. 1. The worker knows very little about other things. 2. The worker is passive. 3. He is isolated (alienated) from others.

93 Organizational pattern Sect.V para 10-13 The effects (results) of this alienation. The workers have two reactions resulting from alienation. 1. laziness (para 11-12) 2. hostility (para 13)

94 Language features: 1. long involved sentences 2. passive voice 3. abstract nouns

95 Language features production; attention; formulation; organization; management; isolation; laziness; passivity; receptivity; hostility; rationalization; routinization; spontaneity; manipulation; fraudulency; satisfaction; intoxication

96 -- ship 加在人称名词上表示 “ 作为 … 的身份或状 态 ” authorship 著者身份 friendship 友谊 citizenship 公民权 membership 会籍;党籍

97 注: 1. 在封建尊称中的用法 your Lordship 殿下 2. nonce-words 临时造的词 dogship sonship 3. bachelorship

98 注: 5 lordship 6 deanship 10 trusteeship 12 seamanship 15 marksmanship

99 注: 17 township 18 censorship 20 citizenship 10 princeship 王子身份(职位)

100 --dom 1. 表示等级、领土、集体或状态 freedom; martyrdom 殉道 ; kingdom; officedom ( 政界 ) ; wisdom 2. 表示集体,构成许多 nonce-words bourgeoisdom

101 Paraphrase 1. Because of the fact that man produces, he has evolved beyond all other animals. 2. Work liberates human being from nature and makes him cooperate with other people and be independent from nature.

102 Paraphrase 3. All the work mentioned above are the examples of how man has transformed nature creatively through his intelligence and skill. 4. While man is working, he enjoys himself and the cultural development of the worker also goes together with the work he is doing.

103 Paraphrase 5. According to Weber, work became the chief element in a thinking system of a very strict and self-denying way of life in the mind of people. Work was the only relief to those who felt alone and isolated. 6. The worker is alienated /estranged/ separated from the work he is doing.

104 Paraphrase 7. Work helps man to earn money, which is only an activity without much significance. 8. Money cannot bring out the worker ’ s self-respect. 9. Most industrial psychologists are mainly trying to manage and control the mind of the worker.

105 Paraphrase 10. Better relations with the public will yield larger profits to management. / or Capitalists will earn a lot profits if it has better relations with the public.

106 Paraphrase 11. The usefulness of many small appliances is often used by advertisers as reasonable means to appeal to extreme idleness and willingness to accept things. 12. The businessman knows he is deceiving the customers into his product and he shows secret contempt for it.

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