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Toward a psychological theory of alienation

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Views the experience of alienation as a sequential-developmental process which (a) develops in the context of an ongoing relationship between an individual and another person or group of people, (b) involves an unexpected deterioration in the quality of outcomes provided to the individual by the other(s), and (c) persists to the extent that the individual and the other(s) remain spatially or psychologically proximal. On the basis of 2 variable components, personal-neutral thwarting and salience-nonsalience of alternatives, a typology of estrangement experiences is proposed which includes 4 behavioral syndromes: isolation, reintegration, subjugation, and rebellion. Though in each of these syndromes the individual's appraisal of the situation leads to at least temporary disillusionment, the induction of persisting cognitive changes as a result of one's exposure to personal thwarting by another is viewed to be the central and unique feature of the alienation experience. (51 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1975 American Psychological Association.

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