Workers on the experience of work: Review article - 'Lines of Work'

Alienation means dispossession, and the alienation of the worker in a wage relation means the dispossession of the worker’s control of her activity, of the product of this activity, and even of much of her social relations. As this relationship of dispossession is lived out by the worker in the context of her social interactions with others, alienation has both an objective and a subjective dimension, which includes subjective experience. While the subjective and experiential aspect cannot be simply be read off from a formal, objective relationship of alienation to capital, the subjective dimension cannot be understood in separation from the objective dimension. Thus in itself an understanding of the subjective dimension can provide only a partial explanation of the dynamics of antagonism and the tendency to communism.

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