Marx' Alienation and Durkheim's Anomie

Topics: Sociology, Émile Durkheim, Anomie Pages: 3 (1012 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Section one: Explain Marx ’concept of alienation.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the two concepts of alienation and anomie and to show their similarities and differences. One of the most important Marx’ theories is the concept of ‘alienation’. By the concept of alienation Marx claimed that people are using their ability to control their life under the capitalistic conditions. Created in the middle of the 19th century, it is a form of dehumanization. Marx’ theory of alienation is represented in the book Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts. For Marx, alienation depicts a ‘’socio-psychological condition describing the separation of individuals from their natural and social environments’’. ( Marx typifies four main types of alienation.

1. Alienation of the worker from the product of his labor: 'The worker places his life in the object; but now it no longer belongs to him, but to the object' (1844b: 324); The worker cannot control the conditions in which he is working. 2. Alienation of the worker from the act of producing: 'His labour is [...] not voluntary, but forced; it is forced labor ' (1844b: 326); The worker becomes a servant of what he produces. The object is not in the worker’s control and it is not his production. 3. Alienation of the worker from himself, as a producer: 'estranged labour [...] tears away from him his species-life, his true species-objectivity' (1844b: 329); The workers are alienated from themselves. Their work takes from their humanity because they cannot realise their true humanity in creating the object they produce. 4. Alienation of the worker from other workers: 'each man [...] regards the other in accordance with the standard and the situation in which he as a worker finds himself' (1844b: 330); The conditions of work also alienate the worker from other men. They are no longer a team of creative workers. Moreover, the conditions of their work put them in competition with each other....

Bibliography: Marx. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts 1844
Durkheim. The Division of Labor in Society 1951
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