49.2 Alienation theory and ideology in dialogue

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:05 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Nara Roberta SILVA , Sociology Department/IFCH, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil
The formulation of an alienation theory sets a clear rupture between Marx and the German idealistic philosophers, as it unveils the possibility of new theoretical investigations. The concept of alienation comes forth as Marx defines labor as a central element of social life. Accordingly, this concept expresses four aspects of human condition, especially in capitalism: (i) men’s alienation of nature, (ii) alienation of their own activity, (iii) alienation of human kind and (iv) alienation of each other. In this case, we can conceive alienation as not just a material condition, but also one related to conscience. Due to this perception, this article focuses on debating the potential relationship between alienation, as a specific human condition, and ideology. In our understanding, ideology is a historical representation of men’s social and political structure and relations, that influences human actions, especially in cases of social conflict. As a kind of representation, ideology plays a fundamental role in the making of conscience, and as such we expect to understand whether it contributes for the development of the alienation process or for the end of it. Despite their tight bonds, we consider alienation and ideology as two different concepts and, although we hope to expose their relation, it is important to clarify the existent differences, once it contributes to rethinking their possible current relevance.