Theories Of Alienation And Durkheim's Theory Of Anomie

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This essay will explore Marx’s theory of alienation and Durkheim’s theory of anomie. I will compare and contrast both theories and discuss which theory is more applicable to the discontent of the modern world.
Marx believed that humanity had two factors, which were “increasing control of man over nature at the same time as it was a history of the increasing alienation of man,” (Bancroft). The idea of alienation was important in all of Marx’s work and gradually developed throughout time. Marx’s theory of alienation explores and describes the social alienation of a people from aspects of what he called “species-being,” which is the result of living in a community stratified by social classes. Our species-being should be familiar to us because
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This estrangement, or alienation, from your humanity occurs from being a mechanistic part of society. It appears and works together in different and institutions of life such as religion, the state, and the economy. The fundamentals of alienation, in the perspective of production in a capitalist society, states that a worker loses their ability to decide their own life and destiny, when their right be in charge of their own actions, establish and label relationship with others, and produce their own labor are deprived (Lowe). Instead of working on things they willingly chose to do, the activities they participate in is those determined by the bourgeoisie. The worker, as one aspect of the economy, is directed to goals of the bourgeoisie so that they can use the worker up to their full potential (Lowe). According to Marx, the bourgeoisie are the capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and means of production, while the proletariats are the…show more content…
Both of these theories focus on an individual’s status in society and their relationship with the societal conditions they live in. Also, in both theories you can see a sense of isolation from a certain aspect of society or society as a whole. In Marx’s theory proletarians are alienated from people and work, while in Durkheim’s theory there is a lack of interaction with society resulting in isolation. Although there are some similarities, these theories have differences. In Marx’s theory of alienation the worker is forced to do something that results in their alienation, while in Durkheim’s theory the individual is the one who resists social ethics. Marx considered alienation to be a normal factor resulting in the oppressive nature of capitalism and stressed the economic and political influences on alienation. Durkheim considered anomie to result from a deviant form of labor in society and focused on the morality of a society and their consequences. I believe that Durkheim’s theory of anomie has a better explanation of the discontent experienced by people in the modern world, especially Durkheim’s kinds of

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