SOC201H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: The German Ideology, Social Alienation

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31 Jan 2013
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Lecture 3 Soc 201 lecture 3 Sept 24 (Women washroom: 4000 password)
Consider the following:
o Alienation has individual and social dimensions
o Individual alienation denotes estrangement from the self in its creative potentiality
o Social alienation denotes estrangement from other people
o The two are not necessarily linked: individual creativity can co-exist with social
alienation (example: cultural production in big cities such as New York, London, Los
Angeles
o Hence, Marx is wrong to assume that the end of alienation requires the end of
capitalism
Alienation has 4 dimensions (mc question)
o Marx: individualistic aspect, social aspect ( distance and estrangement between
different people)
Karl Marx: The German ideology (1845-46)
o 1. The premise of historical materialism
Historical materialism ( approach of Karl Marx): marx engaged in an argument
that history is explained by ideas. As a whole tradition by looking at ideas. In
order to survive, we need to meet basic needs and accessibilities
Common sense seems uncontroversial
Marx believes the truth because it is essentential
o 2. Implication for studying society: how society produces is fundamental
Fundamental for Marx is class, opportunity of chances and what kind of people
make these chances
o 3. Division of labor, example from Adam Smith, The wealth of Nations (1776)
Hunter and gatherer society
Labor becomes increasingly complex
o 4. Division of labor, consequences according to Marx
Work becomes alienated
Tasks become mindless
Should be something fulfilling
Unequal distribution of the products of labor
Capitalist system is a system that the gap will keep increasing under capitalism
Increasing gap between owning property and not owning properties
Marx also believes in a hunter and gather society, there is already a simple
division of labor. gender differentiation of work
To hold exportation in place
Karl Marx: “in the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations that
are indispensable and independent of their will: these relations of production correspond to a
finite stage of development of their material powers of production. The totality of these
relations of production constitutes the economic structure of reality- the real foundation, on
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