Objective: The objective of this paper is to explain Karl Marx’s theory of alienation of Labor as well as apply this theory to the sociological principles of Bureaucracy, scientific management, and the division of labor. Alienation of Labor:
Karl Marx’s theory of the alienation of labor is a concise sociological read that describes how workers are actually separated from their individual labor. One example Marx uses for workers is that they are basically commodities for a company and that the more the worker produces the poorer the work becomes. Many people may believe that the alienation refers to a man’s work however Marx describes the alienation as separating a man from himself.
To explore this topic of separation from one’s self Marx offers the idea of. When Marx says the word species he is actually referring to life. Life becomes a Means instead of becoming a passion and a tool for fulfillment. When a person goes to work they are usually working towards that organizations goals rather than their own. This is the beginning of the alienation from a person and their work. A worker or person is not usually allowed to add their own creativity into the work that is being performed. This in turn is separating the mind from the body’s ability to do the things that the mind would find fulfilling within ones being.
When speaking about alienation of work we should also look at the bureaucracy of systems that has been set for workers especially in the United States. Even when talking about education one has to have a certain degree to show that they can do a certain occupation in order to become a commodity for the company... Workers are often referred to as an “asset” for the workplace.
Alienation and Bureaucracy
Karl Marx’s theory of alienation coincides with principles of bureaucracy that impede worker progression....
References: Hodson, R., & Sullivan, T. A., (2012). The Social Organization of Work. (5th ed.)
Wharton, A. S. (2006). Working in America: Continuity, Conflict, and Change. (3rd ed.)
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