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June 8, 2021

Modernity, Alienation, and Life in Metropolis

A city was studied from the economical point of view by many philosophers and sociologists, including Karl Marx and Georg Simmel. It was regarded as an administrative and political system. Over the past century, a range of sociological researches of a city and problems of urban space have significantly expanded. The application of different approaches provides great opportunities for sociological studies of the urban way of life and for determining perspectives of the development of cities in the twenty-first century. This paper aims at discussing Marx's and Simmel's writings on the aspects of modernity, alienation, and life in a metropolis. The main problem of modern society in the big cities is alienation due to the division of social labor.
Karl Marx??s ideas concerning living in a city proceed from the fact that alienation expresses the contradictions of a certain stage in the development of society. It is generated by the social division of labor and is associated with private property as a condition for emergence of the market. It can be seen in many modern big countries, and especially in the rapidly developing UAE. Due to the private property, objectification arising in the conditions of commodity production can be seen everywhere in the modern society. Living in a big city, I often notice the growth of market openness, consumer psychology, primitivization of thinking, and many other forms of alienation. They lead to aggression and indifference of the society.
If to look at the UAE society from the viewpoint of Marx, then the example of Dubai clearly shows the modernization and alienation of labor. Moving to this metropolis does not allow me to develop all the abilities, since a highly developed idea of specialization is considered a norm of functioning of the big cities today. Dubai is a vivid example of extensive introduction of new technologies and monopolization of capital, which promotes the development of large enterprises. However, it is also a bright example of alienation as a result of the division of labor, as there is a large number of immigrants doing all the manual work, as well as professionals from different countries who usually live in the city for three or five years, but then leave it. Dubai is a metropolis, a city-platform for consumption, tourism, and foreign labor, but not for a quiet measured life.
The founder of formal sociology Georg Simmel devoted his work The Metropolis and Mental Life to the problems of living in the big city and urbanization. He wrote that the deepest problems of modern life stem from the aspirations of the individuals to protect their independence and individuality from the violence of society. Simmel would characterize Dubai as the focus of cosmopolitanism, defining the relations between its citizens as closed and isolated. According to Simmel, insensible indifference is a bright characteristic of modern people living in a big city. Among the specific living conditions in Dubai, I can single out an increased level of people's contacts and a high percentage of their impersonality. My own experience shows that the mobility of the inhabitants of the metropolis and the migration turnover exacerbate the problem of alienation. Personally, I do not feel connected with the city, in part because the urban space is too vast for me.
In conclusion, at a new stage of the development of capitalism, large cities have annihilated small ones, so the global movement of capital and labor can be visible. In the era of globalization and urbanization, in the conditions of living in a modern big city, the results of labor are separated from people. As a result, people become alien to the world in which they live.

About the author
Kimberley Roberts is a dreamy romantic person. She likes writing and walking alone. Also, she is a freelance writer at This company has every possibility to complete any orders for students.
Posted by      Kimberly Roberts at 4:01 AM CDT | Comments (0)

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