This work traces the intellectual history of alienation, from the ancient world, through the medieval period, to the work of notable 19th–early-20th Century social theorists, including Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Engels, Simmel, Durkheim, and Weber. It examines contemporary theory and research on alienation, particularly the seminal work of UCLA Professor Emeritus of Sociology Melvin Seeman, which ensured alienation’s central place in the social sciences. Seeman’s 1959 ASR article, “On the Meaning of Alienation,” reinvigorated alienation research and established alienation as an important concept in sociological theory. This work expands Seeman’s insights concerning five specific varieties of alienation by linked each variety to specific emotion. The result is a partial synthesis of alienation theory and the sociology of emotions.
Alienation and Affect