Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Harry F. Dahms
Alienation is related to social problems both in substance and in terms of how we look at social problems. In the context of modern everyday language and “commonsense” perspectives and views, the term alienation frequently is employed to express a feeling of separation—ranging from one's experiences with others, work, nature, social environment, political process, and system, all the way to “the world as it is.” Yet this feeling of being separated links concretely to the prevalence of myriad social problems (unemployment, drug abuse, poverty, mental illness, domestic violence, etc.). Understood in this latter sense, alienation can serve as a means to express and describe a certain type of experience and, more important, as a tool to address and dissect the nature of everyday life and to identify its origins and causes. Depending on how the concept is employed, momentous implications result for the orientation and purpose of social research At ...