Society, alienation, and status
I believe that each type of society was vital in creating the society we know, and call home, today. Preindustrial societies made way for Industrial societies and the people adapted to that significant change throughout time. Although society has changed throughout history, the basic foundation has remained the same: one must work to survive. Though it may be arguably easier to live in a digital era, I would find it more morally profitably to live in the Hunter-Gatherer society.
Without a doubt, our society has a plethora of advantages stemming from a history of technological progression. Communication, access to information, and education with a technological foundation has all become necessary and easily accessible parts of the world we call home today. Although these era-based rewards make life easier, it does not necessarily make life simpler. For this reason, I would choose to live in the Hunter-Gatherer society. This type of society was most prevalent until approximately 10,000 years ago, having once been deemed the “basic structure of human society” (Openstax 2016, p. 76). I believe I would identify with this Preindustrial society the most because its core focus was on the connection between people and people and people and land. I love the idea that they were almost completely dependent on their environment and relied on their surroundings in order for survival. They were organized into tribes of people, and in the case that their land ran out of a vital resource, the entire group would move together in search of a more fruitful land (Opentstax 2016, p. 76–77). I believe human interaction is essential in the development of a successful society; however, today I feel as though contact with people outside of one’s small circle is typically forced rather than sought after. Unlike that of today, the Hunter-Gatherer society was very much based on the community of the tribe one was in. Furthermore, I very much like that they took from the environment only what they needed and moved on when they were through. They did not seem to leave a path of destruction, as humans tend to do today environmentally. Each of these reasons and more employ my favoritism toward the Hunter-Gatherer society.
While reading this chapter, I found that Marx’s four types of alienation were very fascinating to learn about. However, I have experienced alienation from oneself most vividly. For the past year of my life I was attending a military school that was considered my job, the one institution that I dreamed to attend for many years. However, not far into the school year I found that I merely felt like a “cog in the machine” (Openstax 2016, p. 82). I no longer found joy in anything, and quiet honestly had lost my sense of self. I became grey with the mundaneness of my life where I once felt so much passion. Now that I have left that situation however, I am making sure that my next occupation will not lack in connectivity to myself.
I identify myself as having a multitude of statuses in my life. I am a female, daughter, girlfriend, only child, friend, airman, and student. Ascribed statuses such as me being a daughter, a female, and an only child are based on the fact that I did not choose them. However, being a girlfriend, a friend, an airman, and a student are all achieved because I worked for or chose each of those statuses. Each type of status, whether chosen or not, make a person who they truly are.