SOC 233 Sept 14, 2011
Alienation : Workers are not connected to other workers, employers, or to the product they are
Alienation Occurs in 4 Ways:
1. Productive Activity
Satisfying the needs of capitalists, not their own.
Workers do not see how their labour contributes.
2. Product of Labour
Labour belongs to capitalist.
Workers have to buy the product they produce.
eg) A person could work in a bakery, but would starve if he/she could not afford to purchase the
bread baked in the bakery.
PURCHASE WHAT THEY MAKE!
3. Fellow Workers
No communal activity; individuals doing specific tasks in isolation.
No connection to other employees.
Interests of capitalists to keep working conditions competitive; workers pitted against one
another in capitalist economy.
4. Human Potential
Instead of working to feel fulfilled (e.g., agricultural community), we are made to function like
No longer involved in creative process of creating a product.
Note – Marx wanted to find a solution to this alienation.
International Facility Management – Study on literal office space; cubicles shrunk, and corner
offices (i.e., boss) increased.
Power : Derived from economic ownership.
2 Types of Power:
1. Personal Power.
Tell people what to do and when to do it.
2. Profits. Power Gives:
1. Economic power.
2. Political power.
3. Ideological power – Family system, marriage, gender, etc.
Commodities : Products of labour intended for exchange.
2 Necessary Conditions for Commodity Production:
1. Market in which we can exchange