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Blauner's Operationalization of Alienation: On What Grounds It Can Be Marxist - Coursework Example

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Blauner’s Operationalization of Alienation: On What Grounds It Can Be Marxist? Outline Introduction Marx and Blauner on Alienation Conclusion Introduction According to Craib (1997: 88 - 91) and Haralambos (2004: 621 – 623), Karl Marx had formulated a theory of alienation which had uncovered that the capitalist mode of production was shaping the human activity…
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Blauners Operationalization of Alienation: On What Grounds It Can Be Marxist
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Blauner's Operationalization of Alienation: On What Grounds It Can Be Marxist

Download file to see previous pages... This was due to the fact that commodities had happened to rule over his everyday activity. Moreover, for him, alienation was an objective verifiable state of disengagement which could be inevitably observed under capitalism. Even if for Marx it was objective, the concept alienation was treated subjectively and was tried to be operationalized by researchers including Robert Blauner through ‘Alienation and Freedom’ in 1964. For Blauner’s terminology, alienation was regarded as a form of job dissatisfaction because the changing of technology, for him, was a significant factor that had influenced the people’s works (Haralambos, 2004: 626 – 628). Although Blauner was not a Marxist himself, his operationalization of the concept had some similarities to that of Marx. In order to find out on what grounds Blauner’s alienation could be considered Marxist, this paper would compare and contrast the accounts on alienation of Marx and Blauner. Marx and Blauner on Alienation Marx’s conceptualisation of alienation basically had four (4) aspects such as the product, activity, species and social. According to Swingewood (2000: 28 – 65) and Giddens (2009: 74 - 77), the existing conditions of the capitalist mode of production had made individual workers to be estranged from the product they had produced, from the activity of production itself, as well as from his relationship with other people. As a result, individuals happened to lose control over their very own human being. In this case, workers could not even claim the product of his labour to be his own. Capitalism had shaped these individuals to function like a machine for the purpose of making profit for buying the commodities instead of his social needs. Meanwhile, labour also put out of place the social relations among other workers. Labour time was nothing but labour time alone. Instead of individuals being free and being engaged in productive activity, they were alienated from their own human nature. The very own process of labour in capitalism was alienating. However, in Blauner’s study of alienation through the use of questionnaires and data of Elmo Roper’s research, he regarded that technology as an important factor that had influenced the work behaviors and attitudes of human beings (O’Donnell, 1997: 262 – 268). Through Melvin Seeman’s psychological aspects of alienation, Blauner’s operationalization of the concept had provided him 4 dimensions as well. According to Giddens (2009: 891 - 892), Blauner’s alienation was indicated by the following signs: first was powerlessness or the lack of control a worker could have over his work; second was meaninglessness or the deficiency of importance or purpose in work; third was isolation or the absence of social relations among the other workers; and fourth was the self – estrangement which was the degree of involvement and satisfaction of an individual in a work. Basically, for him, worker’s attitudes served as signs of the levels of alienation. In order for Blauner to test the 4 aspects of alienation, according to Haralambos (2004: 626 – 629), he had taken into consideration 4 types of industry. Each industry had a different method of technology and different occupational situations. In these industries, he looked at the different levels of alienation. The first type was a printing industry which served as an example of craft ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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