Alienation, labor, and sexuality in marx’s 1844 manuscripts

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7 Scopus citations


Sexuality, like labor, is a form of productive human activity through which we come to recognize ourselves as embodied, agential beings in the world. Under capitalism, sexuality is alienated from us-taken from us that it might be sold back to us in estranged form, as a quality that appears to adhere to the commodity rather than to human beings. This essay examines Marx’s implicit and explicit invocation of eroticism in the various manuscripts of 1844 to argue that the kind of sex-positive politics celebrated in pro-sex feminism and queer activism is very much in keeping with a Marxist agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalRethinking Marxism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • 1844 manuscripts
  • Alienation
  • Consumerism
  • Labor
  • Sex-positive feminism
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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