Sherifa Amin


Contemporary approaches to alienation employ the concept to refer to conditions of “rootlessness” and “homelessness” in an increasingly artificial world, particularly one in which money has come to mediate all relations. Human relations among themselves and to the world have been depersonalized, and commodified. This dimension of alienation refers to reification, a condition in which relations come to take an independent existence, and become powers on their own dominating those who constitute them. The many forms alienation has taken – reification, meaninglessness, instrumentalization, absurdity – has made the concept itself instrumental to diagnosing the crisis of modernity. Central to this discourse is the work of Karl Marx, whose early manuscripts of 1844 powerfully linked the phenomenon of alienation to capitalism. In this thesis, I focus on Marx’s analysis of alienation in his early manuscripts of 1844 and its subsequent impact on the discourse of colonialism, race, and violence in the work of Frantz Fanon. In order to make this connection, I return to Hegel, whose work had an important impact on both figures. I argue that a Hegelian-Marxist reading of Fanon allows for the transposition of the additional elements of race and violence into the phenomenon of alienation. In tracing the notion of alienation from Hegel to Marx to Fanon, the purpose of this thesis is to address the actual anguishing alienation experienced by nonwhites in a racial, colonial, capitalist, world.


Philosophy Department

Degree Name

MA in Philosophy

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2019

First Advisor

Singh, Surti

Committee Member 1

Stelzer, Steffen

Committee Member 2

Belo, Catarina


61 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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