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The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology, 2021, 3(4); doi: 10.25236/FSST.2021.030407.

From labor alienation to cultural tragedy: A comparison between Marx's and Simmel's alienation theories


Zhang Peng, Zhang Longfei

Corresponding Author:
Zhang Longfei

School of Politics and Public Administration, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, Henan, China


Facing the problem of alienation in modern society, although Marx and Simmel have something in common, there are fundamental differences in their analysis path. Marx linked human labor with alienation, and took "labor alienation" as his conceptual analysis tool, constructed the analytical framework of political economy criticism, and then opened up a way to sublate alienation. On the basis of inheriting and reflecting on Marx's alienation thought, Simmel focuses on the contradiction and conflict between the subject content and the object form by explaining the social and cultural significance of money, and then examines the pessimistic picture of the whole human society under modernity. In fact, Marx and Simmel constructed their modernity analysis framework through different critical orientations.


Marx; Simmel; labor alienation; cultural alienation

Cite This Paper

Zhang Peng, Zhang Longfei. From labor alienation to cultural tragedy: A comparison between Marx's and Simmel's alienation theories. The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 4: 34-40. https://doi.org/10.25236/FSST.2021.030407.


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