Marx, Globalization and Alienation: Received and Underappreciated Wisdoms Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • At the World Congress of Sociology in 2006, the official rationale for re-examining `alienation' within a global context was that alienating factory work has now been eradicated, humanized and/or simply compensated for by high levels of consumption in post-industrialized societies, with alienation from work having been `exported' to offices there and sweatshops in newly industrializing countries. However, alienation from work in industrially developed countries does not appear to have decreased, nor have longstanding inequalities in alienation favoring high status employees been reversed. Instead, any credible account must recognize cyclical and long-term economic crises and continued downsizing that have produced levels of un- and under-employment and job insecurity in industrially developed countries that have sometimes rivaled those in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Specifically how these trends have affected alienation is taken up in a subsequent article.

publication date

  • March 2009