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SOC227H5 (35)
Chapter 8

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Gregory Bird

Chapter 8: The Meaning and Experience of Work Work and Alienation  alienation: human condition resulting from absence of fulfilling work Karl Marx and Alienation Work within Capitalism  alienate: act of separation, or transfer of something to new owner  Marx talks about alienation in terms of effects of capitalist production relations on working class  Products didn’t belong to those who produced them (alienation from the product) o Decisions about what to produce and about sale of finished products not made by workers and profits that were made were the owners to keep  Alienation from activity of work o Transfer of control over labour process for workers to capitalists or managers o Didn’t have chance to decide how work should be done  Alienation from other workers around them o Because capitalist employment relationships involve exchange of labour for a wage, work was transformed from a creative and collective activity to a monetary activity o Work itself became a commodity  Alienation occurs when workers have little or no control over conditions of their work and few chances to develop to their fullest potential as a creative human being  Source of alienation can be traced to organization of work under capitalism  Alienation exists even when workers do not recognize it is there Social-Psychological Perspective on Alienation
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