(1) Think about any job that you have ever had (or, if you prefer, your “job” as a
college student). To what extent would Marx’s arguments about the basic exploitive
relationship between owners and laborers apply to your situation and experiences? In
developing your answer, be sure to clearly identify (if you can) who the owner(s) is
(are) and how they do (or do not) exploit the workers. Please keep in mind that
“owner” means just that, that the person(s) owns the business/organization, etc.
Being a manager at a business is not the same thing as being the owner (though an
owner could manage a business). Typically, a manager (no matter how highly placed
in the organization) is an employee (not owner).
(2) Using the same work example, see if you can find evidence of each of Marx’s four
types of alienation. Tell us how these forms of alienation materialized (or did not
materialize). If you do not see any of the types of alienation, tell us why you think
you don’t. Are there aspects of the work environment that Marx did not foresee? If
so, what are they?
SOC 320: Sociological Theory Robert E. L. Roberts
Copyright © 2023. Robert E. L. Roberts. All rights reserved Page 9
(3) Now consider Marx’s views on false consciousness. What evidence might he see
of it if he were alive today? What might be some widespread beliefs and/or
assumptions that lead people not to question the role that capitalism might play in
the production of social problems and human misery? In what ways might he see any
of these beliefs being created and sustained?