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SOC227H5 Lecture Notes - Sweatshop, Class Discrimination

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Gregory Bird

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Marx’s theory of Alienation
Manual Labour vs Mental Labour
- Mental Labour (masters)
Interested in fine arts, literature, philosophy
Intellectual Knowledge
Dependent on others servants
Not self sufficient
- Manual Labour (servants)
Rich in practical knowledge
Know how to do practical, real life, essential things
Less intellectual knowledge
Do not REFLECT on the world but have a direct RELATIONSHIP with the real world
Do not have an identity, limited or no rights
Mere physical beings
1. Masters become vulnerable. If servants revolt, masters will perish. There masters are the
ACTUAL servants (because they are so dependent on others and cant do anything themselves).
2. The power in society is in the servants’ hand, they are the powerful ones because with out them
the system will collapse. They control the everyday world aspects that make survival possible
3. Hegel (early thinker) stated that the solution to this problem is:
Harmonize masters and servants. People should be a bit of both. Practical AND intellectual
Types vs Dimensions
- 4 DIMENSIONS of alienation by Marx
Alienation from the product:
2 sides to human action: making/doing things and putting them out to the world
EXTERNALIZATION/OBJECTIFYING subject object (ref pg.72)
As humans we are constantly objectifying to others and getting something (reflections) back
from them objectsubject
Objectifying is human nature, its how people define themselves and their world, it’s the
essence of humanity
HOWEVER: sometimes this may lead to alienation
When people only create a product but do not own it, they give it away for wage
(example of service industry or sweat shops in Bangladesh).
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