BP:5 Societies and Social Interaction

If I could get my hands on a time machine, I would travel back to when agricultural societies existed through out the world. In no way would I expect it to be easy to adapt to this way of life, but I also believe it would be far more simplistic and peaceful. That being said, as a woman, I would want to live in an area where there was as much equality as I could get in this time when “difference in social standing between men and women” (Openstax, 2016, Section 4.1), were every increasing. For instance, someplace like Sparta, where the women achieved many, though of-course not all, of the same rights as men. I would hope to be able to both experience some of the philosophies, entertainment, theologies, and trades of the time, but also take part in the farming and labor aspects as well. I’ve always been fascinated with ancient history or any history before the development of technology. In so many ways it would be far harder to live and survive during this time — without modern medicine, machines, and so much more that make simple tasks in my life now way more easy than I give them credit for. But that would also be the fun of it and I don’t think I would ever be bored. I would enjoy the challenge this time period would bring, the excitment of the developing ideals around me attempting to explain the world, the emerging, distinct, cultures, the closeness with the land, and the reliance on trade and communication with others.

It took me by surprise just how much Marx’s four types of alienation can be seen in our society. Though they are all quite similar in concept, the one that I identified with the most with was alienation from the product of one’s labor. In my previous job I worked at a glass making shop as the cashier. I shelved items, cleaned them, and organized them. I put price stamps on various glass pieces and I boxed them up and sold them to the customers, but I never actually took part in creating these items. I was just another “industrial worker that did not have the opportunity to relate to the product” (Openstax, 2016, Section 4.2) I was laboring on. I knew some merchandise was created in the glass store I worked in. Others said they came from some where else in the US or out of the country. Either way, I knew almost nothing about their specific origins or how they were made. I was, at all times, alienated from the product of one’s labor. I took part in selling the product, but that was about it. Would I have liked to know how to make the beautiful glass pieces that I sold? Of-course, that would have been amazing; however, it was an unrealistic idea. At the time, all I cared about was selling as much as I could and doing a good job so I could get that ever wonderful pay check. I wanted the reward, not so much anything to do with the product or labor involved. Marx’s four types of alienation are all too prevalent in present day life, and often, very humbling to think about.

I have many statuses in my life. I am a daughter to my father, sister to my siblings, student to my school, and peer to my classmates. These, and many more, are my ascribed statuses in that they represent “the status(es) outside of an individual’s control” (Openstax, 2016, Section 4.3). I also have many achieved statuses, or the statuses I have chosen to obtain. For instance, becoming a high school graduate is one such status that I chose to acquire. Another example is choosing to obtain the status of a UCCS student worker, because it was a position or rank in life I chose to attain, where as I cannot change being a daughter or a sister. I have an endless supply of statuses that define me, some I chose to acquire, some I inherited and cannot change even if I wanted to. Either way, each and ever one makes up the person that I am.