Marx's analysis of alienated labor still explains much about how the capitalist labor process shapes the thoughts and feelings of direct producers. But Marx's analysis fares less well in explaining how the work people actually do with their hands and minds leads to specific psychological consequences. This weakness stems from an inadequate social psychology. The purpose of this article is to provide Marx with this needed social psychology by drawing on the work of G.H. Mead. Specifically, Mead's philosophy of the act and his concept of aesthetic experience will be used to show how alienated labor leads to a reified mode of consciousness and a dislike of work itself. This synthesis of Marx and Mead makes good theoretical sense when we consider, first, the remarkable similarity of their respective philosophical anthropologies.
Schwalbe, M.L. (1991), "ALIENATION AS THE DENIAL OF AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 11 No. 6/7/8, pp. 91-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb013148
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