Preview
Preview

Essay about Historical Roles of Alienation, Class, and Hegemony

No Works Cited
Length: 915 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



2

Alienation, class, and hegemony are three important terms defined in Raymond Williams' "Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture of Society." These terms apply in both Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.

Alienation, as defined by Williams, has two meanings. He first describes the term as "an act of estrangement, normally in relation to a `cutting-off' or being cut off from God, or to a breakdown of relations between a man or a group and some received political authority." The second definition Williams gives for alienation is "the act of transferring the ownership of anything to another, and especially the transfer of rights, estates, or money. Alienation is a major concept in Marx's Communist Manifesto. Marx argues that class struggle causes the formation of all historical developments. He identifies alienation as the main cause of class inequality. The two class rivals in Marx's Manifesto are the bourgeoisie, or middle class, and the proletariat, or wage-laborers. According to Marx, the proletariat was alienated.

Frederick Douglass also faces extreme alienation through the practice of slavery. During this time in American history, black slaves were considered property rather than human beings. They didn't have any of the rights or privileges of their white masters. Frederick Douglass explains that he, like most other slaves, was separated from his mother as an infant. He believes that the slaveholders do this to eliminate any affection between mother and child. Douglass barely recalls the times when he mother traveled twelve miles in the middle of the night to lay with him in bed for a very short amount of

3

time...


... middle of paper ...


...s again (Douglass 69). In this moment, Douglass has achieved hegemony over a brutal slave-owner.

Alienation, class, and hegemony are three important terms defined and discussed in Raymond Williams' "Keywords." They each apply to Marx's Communist Manifesto and Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. In the Manifesto, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie are rival classes. The proletariat is competing with and struggling for power or hegemony over the dominating middle class, or bourgeoisie. The proletariat experiences alienation, class struggle, and hegemony as does Frederick Douglass and most black slaves. The class division between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is very similar to those of the race division between blacks

6

and whites in 19th century America in the aspects of alienation, class, and hegemony.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Alienation of Elle: Clash of Culture or Class? Essay - The characters in the novel, The Age of Innocence, consistently blame Ellen’s apparent ignorance of everything proper on her upbringing, which took place in Europe instead of America’s Old New York. The assumption is that, although it is Ellen’s fault for not trying harder, she is not entirely to blame for her outlandish habits and opinions. Old New York’s inhabitants view Europe as barbaric and radical, although artistically rich. It is the general belief that although travel to Europe is a refined ambition, living there is universally looked down upon....   [tags: Character Analysis] 1274 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Theory of Alienation: Marx and Nietzsche - Marx’s theory of alienation is concerned primarily with social interaction and production; he believes that we are able to overcome our alienation through human emancipation. Marx’s theory of alienation is the process by which social organized productive powers are experienced as external or alien forces that dominate the humans that create them. He believes that production is man’s act on nature and on himself. Man’s relationship with nature is his relationship with his tools, or means of production....   [tags: Theory of Alienation]
:: 12 Works Cited
2372 words
(6.8 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Karl Marx and Capitalist Alienation Essay - The concept of alienation plays a significant role in Marx's early political writing, especially in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1848, but it is rarely mentioned in his later works. This implies that while Marx found alienation useful in investigating certain basic aspects of the development of capitalist society, it is less useful in putting forward the predictions of the collapse of capitalism. The aim of this essay is to explain alienation, and show how it fits into the pattern of Marx's thought....   [tags: Alienation Marxism Marxist]
:: 15 Works Cited
1843 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Marx's Theory of Alienation Essay - Marx's theory of alienation has to do with the separation of things that logically belong together. According to Marx, alienation is a universal result of capitalism. Marx's theory of alienation is based upon his observation that, within the capitalist mode of production, workers consistently lose determination of their lives and fates by being deprived of the right to envision themselves as the administrator of their actions. Workers become autonomous, self-realized people, but are lead and diverted into goals and activities set down by those who have power....   [tags: Marx's Theory of Alienation] 1075 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Class and Gender Roles Essay - There are many expectations from society about how people should act based on their gender and class. These expectations can have negative effects on a person and how they grow up. An individual can feel torn between their family members and society because he or she is supposedly not fulfilling the expectations. This was the case for Dorothy Allison in her article, "A Question of Class," and Paul in Willa Cather's short story, "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament." Allison believes her family does not understand her sexuality as a lesbian, and her colleagues cannot relate to her because of their class differences....   [tags: Society Expectations] 1297 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Workplace Alienation Essay - Throughout my work experience I have been a witness to various degrees of work alienation. As I continue to gather additional experience in the work environment and engage in discussions with fellow employees, it is clearly evident that there is workplace discontentment and feelings of being taken advantage of. Based on my work experiences to date, I agree with James Rinehart’s claim that forms of alienation are evident in the workplace. They force human beings into modes of behaviour that are unnatural and possibly harmful....   [tags: Work and Alienation]
:: 1 Works Cited
1181 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Historical Perspective: The Wage Gap Essay - For several decades, most American women occupied a supportive, home oriented role within society, outside of the workplace. However, as the mid-twentieth century approached a gender role paradigm occurred. The sequence of the departure of men for war, the need to fill employment for a growing economy, a handful of critical legal cases, the Black Civil Rights movement seen and heard around the nation, all greatly influenced and demanded social change for human and women’s rights. This momentous period began a social movement known as feminism and introduced a coin phrase known in and outside of the workplace as the “wage-gap.” According to Merriam -Webster (2012), the wage gap is defined as...   [tags: White American, Male, Female, Middle Class]
:: 21 Works Cited
1598 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Karl Marx - Capitalist Alienation Essay - Karl Marx - Capitalist Alienation THE TERM "alienation" in normal usage refers to a feeling of separateness, of being alone and apart from others. For Marx, alienation was not a feeling or a mental condition, but an economic and social condition of class society--in particular, capitalist society. Alienation, in Marxist terms, refers to the separation of the mass of wage workers from the products of their own labor. Marx first expressed the idea, somewhat poetically, in his 1844 Manuscripts: "The object that labor produces, its product, stands opposed to it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer." Most of us own neither the tools and machinery we work with nor the prod...   [tags: Alienation Capitalist Society Marxism] 649 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Marx's Idea of Workers' Alienation From the Production Process Essay - Alienation is a process in which humanity is progressively turned into stranger in world created by labour. (A. Swingewood 2000 p32). It succeeds in creating vast accumulations of wealth at one pole of society, an increase in value of thing achieved only at the cost of progressive defaulting human life itself. Alienation however, occur only when humanity having externalised itself, encounter it’s own activity, it essence, operating as an external, alien and oppressive power....   [tags: Workers' Alienation] 1627 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Historical roles of men and women in leadership Essay - While analyzing professions held by men verses those held by women through history, the concept of history that needs to be observed is a vast period of time. For if all or most of known history about humans is not taken into consideration, then much of present day analysis of leadership gender roles might actually start to make sense. The previous sentence was not an error in thought or printing. Much of modern analysis of gender perspectives in leadership and the roles of men and women seem to forget the thousands of years of history and the more recent, evolution of gender equality, which has taken place to get to where we are at present day....   [tags: essays research papers] 1202 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]