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Blauner's Operationalisation in Marxism - Coursework Example

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Blauner's Operationalisation in Marxism Introduction Marx used the term ‘alienation’ to describe worker’s sense of separation from what they produced, from others, and from self in a capitalist type of production. In the 19th century, Marx use of alienation resulted from continued absence of control of worker’s over products, production of goods aimed at making a profit not for social goods, and a rapidly increasing division of labor that reduces work to near meaningless activity…
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Blauners Operationalisation in Marxism
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Blauner's Operationalisation in Marxism

Download file to see previous pages... Comparing the view of alienation by both Blauner and Marx portrays major similarities and differences. The similarities include: the idea of powerlessness that workers experience in a capitalist society, meaninglessness as described by Marx to result from increasing division of labor, and isolation that Marx explains to result from exchanging social relationships with the economic relationships, which are also covered by Blauner. Therefore, comparing Blauner to Marx’s ideas on capitalism, there is some degree of Marxism in Blauner through his entire research and classifications. Marx Alienation Marx broadly described alienation as the lack of a sense of meaning that could possibly be a motivation for action taking in the society (Elster 1987, 41). To this, Marx explained four main ideas that contribute to alienation in the society today. These are the activity, product, social, and species. In product alienation, Marx views the producer of goods to have little or no control over the goods that they produce. On the other hand, Marx explores the way division of labor has contributed to meaninglessness of work in a capitalist market. This amounts to lack of self realization, which has to motivate people to create a society where the desire for a meaningful life is satisfied (Elster 1987, 41). Blauner’s work Blauner, alienation exists when the workers are not in a place to control their immediate work processes, to develop a sense of purpose (Anderson 1974, 88). Blauner formulated 4 main ideas linked to work conditions. These are: powerlessness, which is a measure of the degree to which the workers have power or control over their work; meaninglessness, which measures the meaning of the work activity to the workers performing such work; isolation, which measures the extent to which workers feel as part of the society; and lastly, self estrangement, which is a measure of whether workers are psychologically involved in the work, or whether they have thoughts regarding better jobs than their jobs. (Schwalbe, 1987). Blauner’s industries Printing. This was part of the craft industry that has been rapidly replaced by the current electronic publishing. The job required both skills and initiative, and had low division of labor as there were no smaller tasks that required specialized skills. Each worker was skilled and worked on self initiative. Due to the high demand of the job, workers had a high job security, and the wages were high. The degree of control was therefore high, and the sense of meaninglessness in this job was conspicuously small as workers had skills and knowledge over the process, resulting to unique products. Mass Production. This was the second area investigated by Blauner. This industry related to the mechanization of crafts that included textiles and weaving; these sectors involve high specialization of labor, where tasks were reduced to just simple roles. According to Scott & Abcarian (1971, 122), this industry offered low job security, poor wages and labor intensiveness. The control in this job was low raising the degree of powerlessness in the job, and textile workers had higher degree of meaninglessness and isolation. However, Blauner found that the workers had a high ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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