Confronting New Policies
Chapter 2: An historical background of alienation
The goal of this chapter is to provide a historical overview of the alienation concept. This will help in understanding it, and in constructing a well-grounded definition of policy alienation. It provides the backbone for Chapter 3, in which I will develop the policy alienation concept. The first section introduces the alienation concept by examining its linguistic, theological, and political usages. Following this, I consider the ‘founding fathers’ of alienation: George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel and Karl Marx. Next, I discuss two leading scholars from the ‘Frankfurter Schule’: Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, who studied the works of Hegel and Marx and then used the alienation concept to discuss the alienating tendencies in the Western society of the 1950s and 1960s. One remark should be made here. Given the abundance of literature and the intrinsic difficulties with the alienation concept (such as the different philosophical meanings attached to it by Hegel as well as criticisms of these interpretations), it is impossible to provide a full historical analysis of the term in this chapter.
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