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Journal section "Social problems of the development of territories"

Social Alienation: an Analysis of Theoretical Approaches

Smoleva E.O.

4 (34), 2016

Smoleva E.O. Social Alienation: an Analysis of Theoretical Approaches. Territorial development issues, 2016, no. 4 (34). URL: http://vtr.isert-ran.ru/article/1982?_lang=en

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The relevance of the study is explained by the trends of growth of the negative consequences of alienation – deviant behavior, deterioration of social health, political apathy, loss of trust in public institutions, and the impossibility for an individual to implement his/her creative potential. Alienation emerges in the system “man – results of activity” (the theory of social contract, classical German philosophy, Marxism), in the system of relationships of an individual with other people and social institutions (existentialism), and as a result of the breaking of the ties in the system “individual – other individuals” and “individual – self-image” (psychological concepts). We have identified two features of alienation: the loss of connection and the loss of subjectivity. According to the authors of the theory of social contract (T. Hobbes, J-J. Rousseau, J. Locke, C. Helvétius), alienation manifests itself in the loss of communication between an individual and his/her rights and freedoms, in the loss of subjectivity in social and political activities. In the German classical philosophy (I. Kant, J. Fichte, L. Feuerbach, G. W. F. Hegel) the concept of alienation is connected with the loss of subjectivity by an individual in the process of cognition. The existentialists (J.-P. Sartre, A. Camus) saw the basis of human existence in alienation, the cause of which is the conflict between rational and intuitive cognition. In Russian psychology the problem of alienation is most often associated with the loss of subjectivity (S. L. Rubinstein, V. A. Petrovsky). Ways to overcome alienation depend on the perspective from which alienation is considered in various philosophical, sociological and psychological theories. It is possible to cope with alienation by changing the situation and society (revolutionary social transformations (Marxism), creation of a democratic system, overcoming social inequality (theory of social contract)), or through the rebellion of man against total alienation (A. Camus, Marcuse), by enhancing the spiritual life of man (E. Fromm, N. A. Berdyaev). A special place in the overcoming of alienation is given to the development of subjectivity in the process of cognition I. Kant, Hegel), and in all types of activity in general (S. L. Rubinstein, V. A. Petrovsky)


social alienation, exclusion, subject approach