The idea of alienation it is directly related to the human sciences, since it is a mechanism that can affect people.
Alienation is the process by which An individual I know turns into someone alien to himselfIn other words, their consciousness is transformed in such a way that it loses the characteristics that until then were given to it by its condition or its nature.
The phenomenon of alienation, then, is intrinsically related to some interpretations about the nature of man that philosophy and the other human sciences have not agreed, so there are no unique interpretations of alienation: Foucault, Hegel, Marx and even psychology had a lot to do with the contributions in the matter of alienation.
Individual and collective alienation
The relationship of the alienation with the human sciences It is because it is not a biological process (like most neurological disorders of personality and behavior) but rather it is a social process that can occur at two levels.
The individual alienation It occurs in the event that the personality of a single person is annulled, inconsistencies appear in their thinking and the subconscious self-instruction in such a way that certain situations are created that are not true. Individual alienation, taken to the extreme, isolates people from their circle of social relationships.
The social alienation or collective it is totally linked to the social and political manipulation of individuals as a whole. The consciousness of an entire society is transformed in such a way as to make it contradictory to what is expected of them.
One of the earliest debates in modern society included Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the first who justified the existence of the state by the violent and warlike nature of relationships between people, and the second, on the contrary, believed in the state of nature because he considered that men were naturally peaceful.
Obviously, the man in society it is neither completely violent nor completely peaceful and altruistic: both positions included a process of alienation by which men all over the world were losing their initial nature.
Examples of alienation
Like the one mentioned above, there are other examples that seek to approximate the definition of alienation. To next, some of them:
- A person who embraces a religion to the point of frustrating his own development finds himself religiously alienated.
- The philosophical introduction of the idea of alienation, which was given by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his defense of the state of nature and of men in total freedom.
- Many thinkers about society wondered about the totalitarian processes in Europe in the first half of the 20th century, which managed to attract very strong support from the different social layers. This conviction of huge majorities about the advantages of the process that would completely disintegrate society can be interpreted as alienation.
- A person under the influence of narcotics alters his perception of reality and modifies it, which is why he is alienated.
- A person who validates the oppression that a government imposes on him is politically alienated.
- Most of the experiences of cults or other secret organizations in the world end up alienating their members.
- In modern societies, a warlike confrontation only kills the youngest and poorest strata of society. However, it is precisely the youngest and poorest who tend to celebrate and encourage the most when a war is approaching.
- Michael Foucault considered that social alienation is analogous to that suffered by the mentally ill, because society does not recognize him and exclude him.
- The enormous expenses in advertising that companies do, are due to the fact that (we believe or not) people are influenced by it for our consumption decisions. As it is a change in behavior that we are not aware of, it can be considered as a process of alienation.
- In Karl Marx’s analysis of capitalist society, the alienation of the worker occurs in three ways. It is this triple separation of the human from his true essence the only thing that can justify that the capitalist system persists and is validated by the workers themselves, according to Marx.
- Regarding his activity (because he works for the need of another);
- Regarding the object that is produced (because it no longer belongs to him);
- Regarding its own potential (by the permanent need of the capitalist to expand his rate of profit).