The Refrigerator And Marx's Theory Of Commodification And Alienation

2131 words - 9 pages

Refrigeration and freezing are two of the most common forms of food preservation used today. Virtually, in the kitchen of every home of the developed world, there is a refrigerator of one kind or another. This technological invention has become an irreplaceable and indispensable part of our life, which we take for granted.In this essay I will focus on the fridge freezer within its social and economic environment based on Karl Marx's theory of Commodification and Alienation. I will examine the refrigerator as a commodity, its relationship to production and exchange of commodity, to consumption and the way we 'reproduce' our life. According to Marx, a production process of any kind and the distribution of a product are determined by social relations and forces of production (produktivekrafte). The dominant social relation in the capitalist world is based on class, but Marxists have expanded that to include race and gender. The forces of production, as seen by Marx, are those material and human means through which a society reproduces itself materially.Is the fridge freezer a commodity? 'In Karl Marx's critique of Political economy, a commodity is simply any' useful 'good or service offered as a product for sale on the market' ( As every one knows fridge freezers are mass-produced appliances for domestic and commercial use, sold world wide and which people can buy, whenever required. They are very useful because people can store, freeze, prepare and preserve fresh food for long period of time, like never before. The main function of the refrigerator was to help improve the health standards as the low temperatures inside slows down the activity of bacteria. For example, bacteria will spoil milk in 2 - 3 hours if left out at room temperatures. However by reducing the temperature of the milk, it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. All of the above defines the fridge freezer as a commodity.The refrigerator, as most of the other technological inventions, is presented and perceived as a time and labour saving device, which makes peoples life easer and frees them up for other leisure activities of their liking. On one hand, because it releases people from every day shopping for fresh food and in many cases from daily cooking. On the other hand, because it means people don't have to spend time pickling and preserving food, when they can just freeze it.Today, peoples' "saved" time and labour are organised to suit their work.Prior to refrigeration growing and preserving food played a very important role and peoples' life was organised around it. This is the time of non-alienated labour, which Marx describes as an immediate producer's enjoyment of production as a confirmation of his or her powers. Also 'the production is to meet the needs of others, thus confirming for both parties our human essence as mutual dependence'(Jonathan Wolff, Why read Marx today?). With the term 'non-alienation' Marx refers to the time in the past before the actual...

Find Another Essay On The Refrigerator and Marx's theory of Commodification and Alienation

Marx's Theory of Class Essay

2711 words - 11 pages Marx's definition of class. It's strengths and weaknesses. -Although the concept of class has a central importance in Marxist theory, Marx does notdefine it in a systematic form. Marx left this problem of producing a definition of the concept ofsocial class until much later. The manuscript of the third volume of Capital breaks off at themoment when Marx was about to answer the question: 'What constitutes a class?' Even withouthis definition of

Marx's Conflict Theory & the Fundamentalist Theory (and how it applies to Indonesia today).

1279 words - 5 pages 1. Name and outline one theory of social change.The Conflict Theory of social change centers upon the premise that radical change in society is constant and inevitable, as existing social conditions will always contain the beginnings for a different future. The conflict theory has its origins in the writings of Karl Marx. Working in the late nineteenth century, Marx believed that all societies were primarily influenced by their economic base

Marx's Idea of Alienation in Productive Activity

2780 words - 11 pages Marx's Idea of Alienation in Productive Activity (1) Marx explained that alienation is about the loss of human powers in the society and alienation separates human from his natural word, activities and makes man lose control over his labor activity. Marx alienation from productive activity emerged when human are barred by alienation from realizing their potentials and creativities, this was achieved under capitalism

The Revolution of 1848 and Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto

1612 words - 6 pages The Revolution of 1848 and Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto There were two major things that happened in Europe in 1848. One of those things was the Revolution of 1848. The other was the publication of the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx. The Revolution of 1848, and the Communist Manifesto tie into each other very well. The Revolution was calling for a change in society, and so was Marx through the writing of his

Marx's Account of the Relationship Between Technological and Political Change

1624 words - 6 pages capitalism) was that technological change ‘delinked’ itself from political change. The next major technological step after Marx’s writing was the move from a manufacturing-based economy to a more service-based one where Marx’s theory of ‘alienation’ of workers could no longer be as easily applied. This technological change was not accompanied by any significant political change, and so the link between the two cannot be said to be

Alienation Comparison: The Secretary Chant and Alienation and Orange

749 words - 3 pages It’s self-evident, feelings & emotions are more intimate & personal than percentages, statistics, & numbers. “The Secretary Chant”, a poem about a woman so engrossed in her job she is turning into it, has the theme of alienation. As does “Alienation & Orange Juice: The Invisibility of Labor”, is an article that speaks about a commercial that has no humans shown and causes the alienation of the workers from the end result of their work by the

Frankenstein and the Alienation and Loneliness of Mary Shelley

1933 words - 8 pages alienation and loneliness in which she suffered throughout it.Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797. Daughter to William Godwin, a philosopher and Mary Wollstonecraft, a muckraker for women's rights, her parents were colleagues as well as lovers and married only a few days before her birth. At age 17, she ran away with her soon to be husband Percy Shelley. Because of this, "Mary Shelley became a societal outcast for [the] actions and had few friends

Alienation in King Lear and The Jew of Malta

3130 words - 13 pages . Brecht’s theory originated from the Russian and Chinese theaters where he obtained “some of his basic concepts of staging and theatrical stylization.” He had a concept of the “Verfremdungseffekt, or V-Effekt (sometimes translated as 'alienation effect') centered on the idea of 'making strange' and thereby making poetic.” He meant to remove feelings out of the production and to make the spectators detach themselves from the “make

"Of Mice and Men" Prejudice and Alienation

1090 words - 4 pages of alienation through ageism, racism, sexism, and ableism.Candy was an old man who lived on the farm who lost his hand in an accident while working. The ranch hands constantly tortured Candy by telling him that his dog was too old for his own good, and that he would be better off dead. Candy takes this personally, assuming that they were insinuating that he was also worthless to the ranch, and too old for his own good. The old man realizes that

The Social and Economic Features of Jabal Nablus and Karl Marx's Methodology

1283 words - 5 pages In my essay, I will argue that the application of Marx's theory of the separation of town and country on the social and economical developments, which took place in Jabal Nablus during 17-19th century, confirm the existence of other factors, which cultivated overwhelming city's domination over hinterland. I claim that in addition to private property, growing trade with Europe also had a major impact on the conflict between city and country. In

Karl Marx's Theory of Surplus Labour

1369 words - 5 pages Karl Marx's Theory of Surplus Labour For Marx surplus labour is the extra labour produced by a worker for his employer, to be put towards capital accumulation. The worker must do this work to keep his job but otherwise gains nothing by it. By helping the accumulation of capital he contributes to the cycle of mechanization and division of labour, which allow for fewer workers to do more work, thus adding to the competition between workers

Similar Essays

Marx's Theory Of Alienation Essay

1019 words - 4 pages Marx's theory of alienation has to do with the separation of things that logically belong together. According to Marx, alienation is a universal result of capitalism. Marx's theory of alienation is based upon his observation that, within the capitalist mode of production, workers consistently lose determination of their lives and fates by being deprived of the right to envision themselves as the administrator of their actions. Workers become

Karl Marx's Theory Of Alienation Essay

579 words - 2 pages Few philosophers viscerally strike a chord with their readers, regardless of the subject in question. Yet there is something within Marx's essay, Alienated Labor, that is able to communicate directly to working people laboring even over one-hundred and fifty years subsequent to its publication. There is good reason for this: Marx elucidated a theory of labor in which workers become subservient to the objects they produce, a theory where people

An Account Of Karl Marx's Theory Of Alienation

1465 words - 6 pages Karl Marx's Theory of AlienationKarl Marx's theory of alienation presents us with a grim view of capitalist society and the dehumanising effect that this society has on the worker. Marx's theory of alienation refers to human beings becoming alienated from the society that, according to Marx, they created. As society develops human beings gradually begin to feel that it is not of their making and they do not feel at home in such a place. Marx's

Commodification And Exploitation Of Surrogacy Essay

1903 words - 8 pages commodification or exploitation. In what follows I will argue that full gestational surrogacy commodifies and exploits women and children; however, I question the negative connotation of the word “exploit” when the surrogate is fully educated about the process. Although surrogacy should be legally permissible, I argue that adoption should be the primary means of "having" a child. Commodification: Surrogacy commodifies women and children by selling that