International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 332


The (Capitalist) making of an addict: A Marxian and Durkheimian perspective on modern manifestations of addiction

Samantha McIntyre
  • Samantha McIntyre
  • Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee Knoxville, United States.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 07 September 2021
  •  Accepted: 11 November 2021
  •  Published: 19 November 2021


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.