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  • Theories of Alienation – Seeman and Marx

    Mike Healy

    Chapter from the book: Healy, M. 2020. Marx and Digital Machines: Alienation, Technology, Capitalism.


    This chapter examines in detail the two contrasting approaches to alienation of Seeman and Marx detailing how key concepts of Marx’s theory of humanity affects his understanding of alienation. After discussing Seeman’s more routinely-favoured perspective the chapter outlines three problems with such alternative theories of alienation: first, the shadow of Marx and the political implications of his broad view; secondly, the difficulty in undertaking measurable, quantifiable work that is demanded by dominant positivist frameworks; and lastly the problem of the vague nature of the term alienation, that it is frequently synonymised with vague feelings of unease or dissatisfaction. The relation of alienation to reification is also discussed as well as the approaches of Blauner, Wendling and autonomist Marxism. The author concludes that it is feasible to research alienation using Marx’s categories and approach to social analysis because they offer greater penetrating explanatory power than other viewpoints.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Healy, M. 2020. Theories of Alienation – Seeman and Marx. In: Healy, M, Marx and Digital Machines. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book47.b

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Oct. 16, 2020