The manifestation of addiction in modern day American society is novel in its materialization. Marxist concepts of self-estrangement and alienation provides a frame for viewing the way market capitalism and the way labor distribution negatively impact individuals because it supplies humans with false needs and a sense of disillusionment. The utilization of labor as identity and emphasis on profit creates a divide between a person and his self, a disconnect that ultimately causes an overarching culture of dissatisfaction in multiple areas of life. Durkheim’s conceptualizations of anomie theorize the classification of addiction as a form of slow suicide due to external social forces, and the functionalist theory of society serves as a frame for the purpose the addict identity as deviant plays an important role in instigating and upholding certain ideologies of capitalist control and individualism.
Key words: Marx, Durkheim, addiction, capitalism.
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