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Alienation: Identity Crisis under Capitalism


Alienation: Identity Crisis under Capitalism

Allen, Jasmin (2017) Alienation: Identity Crisis under Capitalism. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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This paper analyzes the identity of the alienated worker under capitalism. I claim identity is the coherent understanding of self which is to say the individual recognizes her goals and understands they provide meaning for her life (actions, perceptions, and projects) in a unifying manner. Framing identity in this way, I uncover there are two necessary interacting elements to its appropriate development (meaning and coherence) which I argue can be developed through complete and creative work (non-alienated work). Non-alienated work situates the individual within a context wherein she can articulate self-expression, understand unifying narrative, achieve goals, and cooperate with others to achieve these goals. The inherent features of capitalism (wage labour as exploitation, private property accumulation, and the division of labour) alienate work which makes it difficult for the individual to appropriately identify herself in the manner stated above. These inherent features are manifested in different socio-economic and workplace dynamics complemented by societal responses respective to the stage of capitalism: industrial, monopoly, or flexible capitalism. Since this is the case, I examine how and why the state of alienation differs in each stage of capitalism. Ultimately, I show alienation takes on a deeper and disorienting form under flexible capitalism (1980s to present) because society expresses that the workplace uses liberating practices, while the individual experiences adverse consequences due to the maintenance and intensified invisibility of alienated labour; I assert these conditions are a main contributing factor to contemporary identity crisis (the prevalence of certain psychological illnesses, particularly depression).

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Allen, Jasmin
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:December 2017
Keywords:alienation social philosophy political philosophy marx capitalism flexible capitalism industrial capitalism monopoly capitalism depression anxiety contemporary alienation contemporary identity identity
ID Code:983311
Deposited By: JASMIN ALLEN
Deposited On:18 Dec 2017 13:57
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56
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