Progetto di Ateneo (medio) - Social Alienation in the 21st Century: Between Work, Politics, and Public Administration

The research aims to reconstruct and rethink the philosophical-political idea of social alienation, as well as to study the forms and the ways in which alienation is still present in today's advanced societies, with particular reference to the spheres of work, politics, and public administration. Firstly, we will reconstruct the idea of alienation with reference to the different theoretical traditions it pertains to: from the first elaborations by Rousseau, to existentialism, and to the Hegelian and Marxian developments of the concept. Particular attention will be given to the idea of alienation in Hegel, in Marx, and in the Frankfurt School's critical theory of society. Secondly, we will sketch a possible and still hypothetical re-actualized definition of social alienation, trying to preserve the legacy of the Hegelo-Marxian and critical theory tradition, but also to consider today's changed social reality. Finally, we will focus on probing the fruitfulness and  usability of the category of alienation to elucidate some social problems of our time, such as the forms of alienation we can discern in the spheres of work, politics, and public administration.
Our methodology will be therefore, in the tradition of critical theory, that of a constant dialogue between ideal principles and social reality, aimed at developing and refining intellectual elaborations in confrontation with concrete society. In our philosophical-political research will concur reflections concerning today's economic system as well as historical and sociological remarks on the field of public administration. Thanks to this research, we will be able to motivate the - today under-theorized, but still very frequently reported - experience of feeling alien to one's own life and at the mercy of apparently unknown forces. Moreover, we will be able to develop an actualized idea of social alienation that will be susceptible of being used in further studies, both of a theoretical and a practical character.

Responsabile del Gruppo

Eleonora Piromalli

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma