Write a total of two essays: one essay on topic #1 and topic  #2. Each of the two resulting essays should be around three pages in length (a total of around 6 typed, double-spaced pages). Make sure to refer to texts, as well as lectures, class presentations, and/or discussions. When discussing the textual material, keep any necessary quotations brief. Try to express the concepts involved in your own words.

1.Discuss Marx’s theory of alienation. What exactly is alienation, and what is its relationship to the basic structures of capitalist society? What are the four dimensions of alienation, according to Marx? What are some of the forms of alienation other than that of alienated labor? What role does the “money system play in Marx’s discussion? How does Marx argue that alienation is produced by definite social and economic conditions rather than being a part of the unalterable human condition? What, according to Marx, is the nature of a society beyond alienation?

2. Apply Marx’s theory of alienation  to the current condition of college students, especially the phenomenon of increasing levels of student debt and a weak job market. Discuss the relationship between the expansion of the population of college students and the rise of contingent work in the United States. Discuss whether and/or how the relationship between higher education and the capitalist economy results in the alienation of students as students, and not just as future workers or debtors. How might the condition of students be changed so that their alienation is diminished or eliminated?

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