Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kimetta R. Hairston
Alienation is the separation of an individual from another human being or group of people. The act of alienation is unfriendly and hurtful and causes the individual who is alienated to become excluded from a particular societal unit (i.e., family, community, school, state, government, etc.). The theory of alienation as presented by Karl Marx linked alienation to human experience and relationships in various domains of society. When individuals are alienated, they are taken away from themselves and from human possibilities that create and define their experiences. The implications and effects of alienation often result in humiliation and degradation of character, which can lead to retaliation, murder, suicide, and/or some other tragic incident on the part of the alienated individual. Alienation can take several forms, including cultural and political, educational, and societal. Individuals who are alienated experience dehumanization and lack of compassion from others who dwell in the same society. Often ...