Using Marx’s Theory of Alienation Empirically

  • W. Peter Archibald


Although there is a very large literature concerning Marx’s theory of alienation, there is unfortunately little agreement about precisely what the theory is, let alone how best to use it in empirical research. The purpose of the present paper is to try and identify the major issues concerning the theory, and, through a critical examination of existing research, to suggest appropriate directions for future research.


Absenteeism Rate Dialectical Method Commodity Fetishism Progress Publisher Small Businessman 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Althusser, Louis, Für Marx. Frankfurt A.M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1968.Google Scholar
  2. Amasi, M., ‘Alienation and Socialism,’ in Herbert Aptheker (ed.), Marxism and Alienation. New York: Humanities Press, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. Avineri, Shlomo, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, Daniel, ‘The “rediscovery” of alienation: some notes along the quest for the historical Marx.’ Journal of Philosophy 56 (November): 933–952, 1959.Google Scholar
  5. Blauner, Robert, Alienation and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.Google Scholar
  6. Blum, Fred H., Toward a Democratic Work Process: The Hormel-Packinghouse Workers’ Experiment. New York: Harper and Row, 1953.Google Scholar
  7. Bonjean, Charles, ‘Mass, class and the industrial community.’ American Journal of Sociology 72:149–162, 1966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coburn, David, ‘Work and Society: The Social Correlates of Job Control and Job Complexity’. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Toronto, 1973.Google Scholar
  9. Dubin, Robert, ‘Industrial workers’ worlds: a study of “central life interests” of industrial workers.’ Social Problems 3 (Fall): 131–142, 1956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dunayevskaya, Raya, Marxism and Freedom. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1958.Google Scholar
  11. Easton, Loyd D., ‘Alienation and empiricism in Marx’ thought.’ Social Research1 (Autumn): 402–427, 1970.Google Scholar
  12. Feuer, Lewis, ‘What is alienation? The Career of a concept.’ New Politics 1 (Spring): 116–138, 1962.Google Scholar
  13. Firth, Raymond (ed.), Themes in Economic Anthropology. Tavistock, 1967.Google Scholar
  14. Geras, Norman, ‘Essence and appearance: aspects of fetishism in Marx’s capital’ New Left Review No. 65: 69–85, 1971.Google Scholar
  15. Godelier, Maurice, Rationality and Irrationality in Economics. London: New Left Books, 1972.Google Scholar
  16. Groldthorpe, John H., David Lockwood, Frank Bechnofer and Jennifer Platt, The Affluent Worker in the Class Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  17. Goldthorpe, John H., David Lockwood, Frank Bechnofer and Jennifer Platt, The Affluent Worker: Industrial Attitudes and Behaviour. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  18. Gutman, Herbert, Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America, 1815–1919/American Historical Review (June): 531–587,1973.Google Scholar
  19. Hack, Lothar, W. Krause, U. Schmidt, and W. Wachutka, ‘Klassenlage und Interessenorientierung.’ Zeitschrift für Soziologie 1 (January): 15–30, 1972.Google Scholar
  20. Hansen, James E., ‘A dialectical critique of empiricism.’ Catalyst No. 3 (Summer): 1–19, 1967.Google Scholar
  21. Hook, Sidney, From Hegel to Marx. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  22. Horton, John, The dehumanization of anomie and alienation: a problem in the ideology of sociology.’ British Journal of Sociology (15): 283–300, 1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Isambert-Jamati, Viviane, ‘Absenteeism among women workers in industry.’ International Labour Review 85 (March): 248–261, 1962.Google Scholar
  24. Israel, Joachim, The principle of methodological individualism and Marxian epistomology. Acta Sociologica 13 (No. 2): 145–150, 1970.Google Scholar
  25. Israel, Joachim, Alienation: From Marx to Modern Sociology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1971.Google Scholar
  26. Kahn, Robert, The meaning of work.’ Pp. 159–203 in A. A. Campbell and P. E. Converse (eds.), The Human Meaning of Social Change. New York: Basic Books, 1972.Google Scholar
  27. Kealey, Greg (ed.), Canada Investigates Industrialism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  28. Klages, Helmut, Technischer Humanismus. Stuttgart: Ferdinand, 1964.Google Scholar
  29. Kon, Igor S., The concept of alienation in modern sociology.’ Pp. 146–167 in Peter Berger (ed.), Marxism and Sociology: Views from Eastern Europe. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1969.Google Scholar
  30. Lefort, Claude, ‘L’aliénation comme concept sociologique’ Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie 18: 35–54, 1955.Google Scholar
  31. Lichtheim, George, Marxism: An Historical and Critical Study. New York: Praeger. 2nd, revised edition, 1965.Google Scholar
  32. Lukács, Georg, History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  33. Mandel, Ernest, Marxist Economic Theory. Volume I. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  34. Marcuse, Herbert, Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory. Boston: Beacon Press, 1960.Google Scholar
  35. Markovic, Mihailo, ‘Humanism and dialectic’. pp. 84–106 in Erich Fromm (ed.), Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday-Anchor, 1965.Google Scholar
  36. Marglin, Stephen A., ‘What do bosses do? The origins and functions of hierarchy in capitalist production.’ Unpublished paper, Harvard University, 1971.Google Scholar
  37. Marx, Karl, The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. Dirk J. Struik (ed.). New York: International Publishers, 1964.Google Scholar
  38. Marx, Karl, The Holy Family. Exerpted on Pp. 361–398 in Loyd D. Easton and Durt H. Guddat (eds.), Writings of the Young Marx on Philosophy and Society. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967.Google Scholar
  39. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party. Pp. 35–63 in Selected Works. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1968.Google Scholar
  40. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology. R. Pascal (ed.). London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1938.Google Scholar
  41. Marx, Karl, Grundrisse: Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy. Martin Nicolaus (ed.). Harmondsworth, England: Penguin-Pelican, 1973.Google Scholar
  42. Marx, Carl, Capital. Volume I. Moscow: Progress Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. McLellan, David, The Thought of Karl Marx. Cambridge: Papermac (Macmillan), 1971.Google Scholar
  44. Meissner, Martin, ‘The long arm of the job: social participation and the constraints of industrial work.’ Industrial Relations 10 (October): 239–260, 1970.Google Scholar
  45. Mészáros, Istvan, Marx’s Theory of Alienation. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.Google Scholar
  46. Mills, C. Wright, White Collar. New York: Oxford University Press, 1951.Google Scholar
  47. Nicolaus, Martin, Introduction to Karl Marx, Grundisse. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin-Pelican, 1973.Google Scholar
  48. Oilman, Berteli, Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  49. Piccone, Paul, dialectical logic today.’ Telos 1 (No. 2): 38–83, 1969.Google Scholar
  50. Rushing, William A., ‘Class, power, and alienation: rural differences.’ Sociometry 33 (June): 166–177, 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sahlins, Marshall, Stone Age Economics. Chicago: Aldine, 1972.Google Scholar
  52. Schacht, Richard, Alienation. London: Allen and Unwin, 1970.Google Scholar
  53. Schaff, Adam, Marxism and the Human Individual New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970.Google Scholar
  54. Seeman, Melvin, ‘On the meaning of alienation.’ American Sociological Review 54 (December): 783–791, 1959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Seeman, Melvin, ‘Les consequences de l’aliénation dans le travail.’ Sociologie du Travail 9:113–133, 1967.Google Scholar
  56. Seeman, Melvin, ‘Alienation and engagement’. Pp. 467–527 in Angus Campbell and Philip Converse (eds.), The Human Meaning of Social Change. New York: Russell Sage, 1972.Google Scholar
  57. Shepard, Jon M., Automation and Alienation: A Study of Office and Factory Workers. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  58. Terkel, Studs, Working: People Talk About What They do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. New York: Pantheon (Random House), 1972.Google Scholar
  59. Thompson, E. P., ‘Time, work-discipline, and industrial capitalism.’ Past and Present No. 38 (December): 56–98, 1967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vranicki, Predrag, ‘Socialism and the problem of alienation.’ Pp. 299–313 in Erich Fromm (ed.), Socialist Humanism: An International Symposium. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday-Anchor, 1965.Google Scholar
  61. Wicker, Allan W., ‘Attitudes versus actions: the relationship of verbal and overt behavioural responses to attitude objects.’ Journal of Social Issues 25 (4): 41–78, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zweig, Ferdinand, The Workers in an Affluent Society. London: Heinemann, 1961.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© H. E. Stenfert Kroese bv, Leiden 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Peter Archibald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western OntarioCanada

Personalised recommendations