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Understanding Marx: Sociology of the Workplace (SOC318) (Essay Sample)


SOC318: Sociology of the Workplace 
Project 1 
Understanding Marx 
1.Read “Alienated Labour” by Karl Marx (in Wharton’s Working in America). 
2.Select three (3) additional articles from Wharton’s Working in America. You may choose any three articles from the book including those that are not required reading. 
3.In a 500-750 word paper, write a paper regarding Marx’s theory and apply it to the three articles selected and your own work experiences. 
4.Use Marx’s “Alienated Labour” to better understand the work discussed in the selected readings. Choose articles carefully. The quality of your paper will be dependent on how well the research discussed in the readings can be related to Marx. 
5.Marx’s theory of alienation may or may not apply to your work experiences. Provide a short narrative of one relevant work experience and illustrate how it either supports or fails to supports Marx’s theory. 
6.The paper should illustrate that you understand, can communicate and are able to accurately apply Marx’s theory. 
7.Use YOUR OWN WORDS to thoroughly explain Marx’s theory and the articles selected from Wharton’s book. Do NOT USE DIRECT QUOTES. You must be able to demonstrate an ability to understand and distill the material. Quoting the author directly does not demonstrate that you understand the material, only that you can link quotes together. Note that this does not mean that you do not cite. When you put an author’s research findings, theories, or ideas into your own words, you must still cite their research. 
8.Requirements: 500-750 words 
9.Due: End of Module 3. 


Understanding Marx
Understanding Marx
Marx developed a theory to explain conflict that arises from the capitalist system. He believed that the capitalist system involves the ruling class controlling and further exploiting workers whom he refers to as the proletariat causing inequality, which is the main source of conflict between the two ( Shantz et al., 2014). Alienated labor is one of the fundamental concepts of Marx theory as it provides analysis of what people perceive as features of a capitalist system of production and how they relate to humans. Understanding the concept of alienated labor helps us to relate to our work experience and see the normative approach of how labor needs to be characterized. This essay will discuss the Marx theory of alienation referring to specific articles and relating some of the experiences of alienation. The essay also explains how Marx theory of alienation is applicable in work settings.
Marx Theory of Alienated Labor
Marx theory of alienation refers to the separation of things that are considered to belong together naturally or putting rivalry in between things, which exist in harmony. This concept is applicable in explaining social alienation of individual from their human nature. According to Marx, alienation is systematic due to capitalism. Alienated labor is manifests itself under the capitalist system where workers relate to their labor just like a strange object because they lack identification (Parrotta & Buck, 2013).
In an article by Shantz et al., (2014), the author describes Marx theory of alienation as founded due to the capitalist mode of production. Workers regularly lose their goals in life by being deprived of their rights to direct their actions and determine the character of their actions. Workers are instead diverted into activities that are dictated by the capitalists and by all means, capitalists exploit workers to maximize profit. Alienation, in this case, occurs because workers cannot express their social aspect of individuality using the production systems because it is privately owned.
According to Shantz et al., (2014), there are four types of alienation in labor, the first one being the alienation of workers from what he produces or from the product of his labor. In this case, the production process, including the design and the final product, is not determined by those who consume the product or the actual producers, but it is determined by the capitalists. The other type of alienation occurs due to work patterns. Alienation occurs because work is an endless cycle and a disconnected process offering minimal satisfaction. The third type of alienation according to Marx theory is the alienation of workers from himself as the producer. The human spirit has the innate potential to develop as an organism. Therefore, the intrinsic essence of humans includes the desire to be involved in multiple activities for survival; meaning that if workers are alienated from what he produces, he is alienated from nature (Shantz et al., 2014).
The last type of alienation exists from worker to other workers whereby the capitalist system reduces human practice to a simple economic activity but not recognizing the social element of human production. Based on this type of alienation, labor is viewed as a commercial process that can be traded in the labor market. Labor is not considered as a constructive socioeconomic activity, which is important and forms part of collective effort performed by humans for survival or the betterment of the society (Shantz et al., 2014).
My Experience with Marx theory
It is true that in the modern working environment, workers cannot control their lives; they have lost control over their work as suggested by Marx; workers are not autonomous beings. I remember working on contract for my previous...
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