University of California San Diego Sociology Discussion Questions

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I’m working on a sociology question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

(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?(

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?

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