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Occupational Structure and Alienation

This paper appraises two related hypotheses suggested by Marx's analysis of the occupational sources of alienation-one emphasizing control over the product of one's labor, the other emphasizing control over the work process. Using data from a sample survey of U.S. males employed in civilian occupations, it concludes that, in this large-scale, capitalist system, control over the product of one's labor (ownership and hierarchical position) has only indirect effect on alienation, whereas control over work process (closeness of supervision, routinization, and substantive complexity) has an appreciable direct effect on powerlessness, self-strangement, and normlessness.