Alienation, Community, and Work

Alienation, Community, and Work

Alienation, Community, and Work

Alienation, Community, and Work


In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in alienation by writers throughout the world. At least in the economically advanced nations, one reason for the rediscovery of alienation is the need for a term to denote the relatively new phenomenon of dissatisfaction in the midst of material prosperity and political freedom. The contributors to this volume collectively seek a concept of alienation that will be a useful tool in social diagnosis--a key to identifying causes of undesirable social conditions. The result is a collection of essays in policy-oriented social theory, keyed to problems of modern life at the end of the twentieth century, and written from richly diverse cultural, political, and philosophical backgrounds.


This volume of essays and studies analyzing phenomena and processes of alienation and de-alienation in modern societies is based on a selection of original papers presented at two international conferences.

The Conference on Urban Alienation: the Search for De-alienation Strategies was held at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, May 4-5, 1984. Six papers, each followed by a prepared commentary, were presented. the essays by Melvin Seeman, Alan Whitehorn, and John Lachs are revised versions of papers from that conference. the conference was organized by Andrew Oldenquist (U. S. A.) and was supported by the Ohio State University, O. S. U.'s Mershon Center, and the Ethics Resource Center of Washington, D. C.

The International Conference on De-alienation through Participatory Democracy and Self-management was held at the Inter-university Centre of Postgraduate Studies in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, March 18-23, 1985. It was organized by Mihailo Markovic (Yugoslavia), Menachem Rosner (Israel), and David Schweitzer (Canada). the conference was held under the joint auspices of the International Sociological Association's Research Committees on Alienation and on Participation, Workers' Control and Self-management.

The emphasis of the Dubrovnik conference was on practical strategies for reducing alienation and improving the quality of life--in the light of theory, philosophy, and existing research findings--in the realm of work, organizations, and international communities. Twenty-one papers were presented, organized around six main themes. Essays based on the Dubrovnik conference are those by David Schweitzer, Laslo Sekelj, Andrew Oldenquist, Menachem Rosner, L. E. Karlsson, Uriel Leviatan, and Judith Buber-Agassi.

A number of people were of great help in the conceptualization and organization of the volume, including, among others, Felix Geyer and Frank Johnson, as well as some of the contributors. Dr. James Sabin, Executive Vice President . . .

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