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soc 227 lec 2 notes.docx

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Gregory Bird

Marx’s theory of Alienation Manual Labour vs Mental Labour - Mental Labour (masters)  Wealthy  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 Consequences: 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 – objectsubject  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).  Difference between animals and humans: animals are only conscious of their doing but humans DO,REFLECT,IMPROVE in other words OBJECTIFY.  When people are limited to creating, making a product they want to call it their own, but they cannot which results in them being depressed, alienated from their product. When someone else owns your product, calls it their own, takes the credit = ALIENTION. You get paid and your product belongs to someone else. This causes people to become mere physical beings. People who make a product get attached to it, they take pride in it but someone else makes money off it = ALIENATION, EXPLOITATION (if the wage is very low, ex Bangladesh sweat shop). This results in limited creativity, the person does not have cont
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