Karl Marx’s Estranged Labor Theory-Sociology Sample



  1. Read “Alienated Labour” by Karl Marx (in Modules 1 and 2) https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm
  1. Select two or three (2-3) additional articles from your own reading of contemporary work in America. You may choose any articles from reputable sources on the contemporary work world (ask your instructor for assistance here).
  2. In a 500-750 word paper, write a paper regarding Marx’s theory and apply it to the articles selected and your own work experiences.
  3. 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 upon how well the research discussed in the readings can be, and is in fact, related to Marx.
  4. Marx’s theory of alienation may or may not apply to your own work experiences. Provide a short narrative of one relevant work experience and illustrate how it either supports or fails to support Marx’s theory.
  5. The paper should illustrate that you understand, can communicate and are able to accurately apply Marx’s theory.
  6. Use YOUR OWN WORDS to thoroughly explain Marx’s theory and the articles you have selected. 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 Note that this does not mean that you do not cite.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.
  7. Requirements: 500-750 words




Estranged Labour


Marx had very well described in his article the difference that society so easily does between the labor as the person and also as the object. This person or the living being is only secondary and very less cared upon with the object of his creation gaining more importance to the level that at a point of time the well-being of the subject or the labor becomes something that is not even paid any slightest heed to. In the article of Walmart, we can see though is the retail giant of a world which is increasing the labor policies every day it remains medieval. The labor starting from the US office to that of China suffers from poorer than the normal working condition with even cases erupting of people relieving their bodily functions in bottles because of lack of time to go to the washroom. The pay is below normal. On the other hand, the products that are procured by Walmart is always of the highest quality with heavy impetus being paid upon keeping it up to date and most attractive to the customers that will buy them. This huge gap in the importance given to the lifeless product to the laborer or staff who is maintaining it is a sorry example only ratifying Marx idea even in the modern world.

The article of Marx in its explanations also goes on to talk about the lesser importance given to the laborer as and when the quality of his labor increases. It also speaks that the work becoming a coerced activity on the laborer becomes something that he desists and only sets him free when he is doing his normal functions like that of drinking and eating. Not only does the present scenarios of Walmart affirm to this but the various incidents of the workers of Bangladesh who create apparels for high-level companies like Nike also portray the same scenario. With recent events of the building breaking down killing 1100 workers shows the same pitiful state of estranged labor still remains in the shoes and clothes that we still wear


Karl Marx’s theory of alienation of labor Explains the estrangement or alienation of oneself as a consequence of being a part of the stratified social class and having a mechanistic life. It explains that due to overwork pressure and the lack of thinking in the daily work life makes the worker himself or herself a commodity and in an irony The more the worker works, the lesser the value of the commodity becomes. Due to the amount of the work pressure the worker only feels himself or herself during normal processes like eating or drinking, and throughout the working time they’re just not themselves they don’t even know how to differentiate between the work and the labour.

In respect to my work, I would go back to my early days when I used to work for an MNC, and I know exactly how it feels. In the lust of profit, the company used to forget that the workers are humans themselves the managers used to keep on dumping work and would always say that your promotion or the ratings which used to get at the end of the year always depend on the work or how much work you do. This Leads to dissatisfaction in the lower level employees and therefore get tired of the work, and they keep on working till late night just to finish the work and have no such attachment to the what they’re doing. Throughout weekdays I just used to do something which I had no urge to do without even thinking because my opinions were not being taken I only had to follow orders from the manager and in the weekends when I got to sit alone in the home talking to friends or having a party that was the only bit of life I used to feel alive. Hence I feel Marx’s theory is very much valid in today’s world.



Chen, Michelle (2017) ‘The Fight against Walmart goes Global’.

Retrieved on 2nd February 2018




The Guardian (2018) ‘Garment Workers in Bangladesh still suffers’.

Retrieved on 2nd February 2018



Marx, Karl ‘Estranged Labour’.

Retrieved on 2nd February 2018



Fortrell, Stephen ‘Qatar Migrant describe pathetic condition’.

Retrieved on 2nd February 2018




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