c. wright mills: power, craftsmanship, and private troubles and public issues

Alienation. C. Wright Mills argued that one of the characteristic features of contemporary American social structure was ‘its systematic creation and maintenance of estrangement from society and selfhood (1951: 340). In building his argument around the conditions of modern work he drew upon Marx – and upon American writers such as Thoreau. He contrasts traditions of craftsmanship (which at work had become the preserve of miniscule groups of professionals, and in leisure had been trivialized into ‘hobbies’) with the routinized activity of modern work.

As tool becomes machine, man is estranged from the intellectual potentialities and aspects of work; and each individual is routinized in the name of increased and cheaper per unit productivity. The whole unit and the meaning of time is modified…. The introduction of office machinery and sales devices has been mechanizing the office and the salesroom, the two big locales of white-collar work…. None of the features of work as craftsmanship is prevalent in office and salesroom, and, in addition, some features of white-collar work, such as the personality market, go well beyond the alienating conditions of wage-work. (Mills 1951: 226-7)

In 1950’s, the term of ‘the alienation’ became very popular.I would say after the industrialisation, the ‘system of production’ has changed as well as the human and the term of power.
The human started to alienate new culture and new power. Productivity and human became separated from each other. In fact human estranged his own product. He couldn’t accept his own product and this leads to unsocialization so this happiness ends with powerty of ‘a being human’.