Marx's Theory of Alienation Essay Example
Marx defined four specific types of alienation that arose with the development of wage labor under capitalism. First, people may feel as though they have no control over their labor work. Next, people can start to feel distant from family and friends when they are overworked. Finally, people can lack an understanding of who they are if they haven’t had the opportunity to explore what makes them, them.
I’ve had my fair share of nanny work and sometimes I can feel a bit alienated from the labor process. As a nanny it is my job to follow the requests of the parents that employ me. Sometimes it can be difficult to accomplish a task when the child is unwilling to cooperate. One instance, I worked for a family who wrote out a schedule for me to follow with the two children. I was required to take them to the nearest park for outdoor play, but one of the children really did not wish to go. The other child didn’t really care if he went outside or not. I didn’t want to force the kid to do something he didn’t want to do but since it was on the schedule, I had no choice but to follow the parent’s decision.
I once worked at a pizzeria when I was nineteen. I had a five-hour shift that started at 1pm till 6pm. Before that time, I had classes in the morning and after my work I’d attend my other classes. Finding time for my social life was difficult. There never seemed to be enough time to spare for friends or family. I felt too drained to go out with friends when they’d ask. Whenever it seemed like I would have some time to socialize, their schedules wouldn’t match up. It felt like work was pulling all of us apart. Though, I don’t think I’ve ever felt alienated from the product of my labor, I can see how some people can feel that way. Working in a pizzeria, I worked with people who were getting paid for their labor in the kitchen. They spend hours and hours cooking different dishes that they don’t get to enjoy themselves.
Though having a job can feel somewhat alienating, I don’t think I’ve felt alienated from myself as Marx concepts suggest. My self-identity is made up of different terms and can change at any moment. I don’t think that self-identity just comes from one aspect of your life, nor do I think you have to stick to any previous identities you associated with. I do agree that at times you can feel alienated from your true self if you’re contemplating about who you want to be.
I’ve had my fair share of nanny work and sometimes I can feel a bit alienated from the labor process. Though, I don’t think I’ve ever felt alienated from the product of my labor, I can see how some people can feel that way. Though having a job can feel somewhat alienating, I don’t think I’ve felt alienated from myself as Marx concepts suggest.