Consumption as a source of alienation in the theory of Frankfurt School Cover Image

Konsumpcja jako źródło alienacji w teorii szkoły frankfurckiej
Consumption as a source of alienation in the theory of Frankfurt School

Author(s): Łukasz Iwasiński
Subject(s): Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Philosophical Traditions, Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, Marxism
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego
Keywords: alienation; consumption; Frankfurt School; post-marxism

Summary/Abstract: The paper presents in detail the views on consumption of the classics of Frankfurt School:Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse. They argued thatin capitalist society not only work, but also the market consumption – although takenvoluntarily and bringing consumers satisfaction – becomes a source of alienation. Theyconceived alienation as depriving individuals of some fundamental aspect of humanity(individualism, creative potential, critical thinking). While in Marx’s theory means ofproduction belonged to the capitalist class, which controlled them, on the grounds ofFrankfurt School discourse means of consumption are supervised by increasingly anonymous, reified system, whose unwitting creator, and at the same time a victim, is each consumer.In this perspective, all members of capitalist society are subjected to oppressiveideology of consumerism, which is a kind of false consciousness.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 34
  • Page Range: 209-226
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Polish