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Related: alien - Bertolt Brecht - loneliness - mass society - philosophy - sociology
Prominent trope in: black science fiction - modern art - high modernism - modernist literature
Taxi Driver (1976) - Martin Scorsese [Amazon.com]
Taxi Driver is the definitive 1970s cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. In fact, the screenwriter Paul Schrader has cited Notes from the Underground (an early work on existentialism and alienation) as an influence when he wrote the screenplay for the film Taxi Driver. The film actually quotes Dosteovsky in the line: "I'm God's lonely man."
In sociologyIn sociology, alienation refers to the individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general. It is considered by many that the atomism of modern society, means that individuals have shallower relations with other people than they would in a traditional, 'organic' community. This, it is argued, leads to difficulties in understanding and adapting to each other's uniqueness. This is also referred to as commodification, emphasizing the compatibility of capitalism with alienation. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alienation [Oct 2004]
In sociology and critical social theory, alienation refers to the individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general. It is considered by many that the atomism of modern society means that individuals have shallower relations with other people than they would in a traditional community. This, it is argued, leads to difficulties in understanding and adapting to each other's uniqueness. This is sometimes also referred to as commodification, emphasizing the compatibility of capitalism with alienation (a common theme of the early work of Karl Marx). Many sociologists of the late 19th/early 20th century were concerned about alienating effects of modernization. German sociologists Georg Simmel and Ferdinand Tönnies have written rather critical works on individualization and urbanization. Simmel's "Philosophie des Geldes" ("Philosophy of Money") describes how relationships become more and more mediated through money. Tönnies' "Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft" ("Community and Society") is about the loss of primary relationships such as family bonds in favor of goal oriented secondary relationships. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_alienation [Oct 2005]
Brechtianism or the alienation effect (theatre technique)Bertolt Brecht's Defamiliarization Effect or more inaccurately, Alienation effect (Verfremdungseffekt) tries to prevent the audience's succumbing to the usual illusion that is inherent in the presentation of a play, by distancing the spectator from what is happening on stage. The element of surprise such as actors moving and speaking from among the rows of the audience, or actors exchanging parts and characters in the course of a play, for example, is meant to confront, and make the audience aware of the usual mimetic presentation in a play and instead make them reflect on what they see. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_technique#Defamiliarization_Effect_.28Verfremdungseffekt.29 [Oct 2004]
Defamiliarization is the artistic technique of forcing the audience to see common things in an unfamiliar way, in order to enhance perception of the familiar. A basic satirical tactic, it is a central concept of 20th century art, ranging over movements including Dadaism, postmodernism, and science fiction. A fine example is Pepe le Pew's phrase "My sweet peanut of brittle".
Defamiliarization was developed in the mid-20th century by Viktor Shklovsky, who is most often associated with Russian Formalism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamiliarization [Apr 2005]
In philosophyIn the context of human-world relation, alienation means the mis-fit of human being to the world. When one uses his/her reason or logos, it typically makes the relation that of subject-object, and as the subject of perception, he or she is distanciated from the world (the object) rather than living within it. This line of thought can be found, among others, in Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Theodor Adorno. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alienation [Oct 2004]
Marx's theory of alienation
Alienation is a process whereby people come to be divorced or isolated from the society around them. Karl Marx offers a specific, i.e. Marxist, account of alienation. He developed this account through his critiques of Hegel and the 'Young Hegelians', especially Ludwig Feuerbach.
It is normal to treat alienation as an undesirable condition for a human to be in. In Marxism, the polar opposite of alienation is the realization of man's species-being. By this, Marxists mean the global attainment of a new level of human society in which we do not confront each other as atomized individuals alienated from each other, but as colleagues in a collective human enterprise.
Marxist alienation is closely related to the idea of 'fetishism' - the projection of human powers onto inanimate objects. Marx's Fetishism of Commodities arises because of the obscuring of human relationships behind material interactions, detailed in the first chapter of Capital Vol I. Alienation both drives and is driven by this fetish. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx%27s_theory_of_alienation [Jul 2005]
see also: alienation - fetishism - Marxism - commodity
In other contextsThis idea of alienation can be observed in some other contexts, although the term may or may not be as frequently used. In the context of individual-society relation, alienation means the unresponsiveness of the society as a whole to the individuality of each member of the society. When collective decisions are made, it is usually impossible for the unique needs of each person to be taken into account. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alienation [Oct 2004]
Sexual Alienation in the Cinema (1972), [...]
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