Work Alienation as a Subject and Object of Psychological Research: Phenomenological Aspects of the Problem



In article the contribution of a number of relevant psychological models for studying alienation from work as an object and a subject of a psychological research for the purpose of the analysis of its phenomenology is considered. A generalization of theoretical and empirical research for approaches to work alienation of alienation from work within social psychology, psychology of the personality, professional psychology, and the provisions allowing specifying understanding of the studied phenomenon are formulated. The article provides a brief overview of the history of studying the problem of work alienation. Based on a review of theoretical and empirical studies of the phenomenon under discussion, relevant models of work alienation of the subject of labor are identified: socio-psychological concepts of alienation from work, the bipolar construct “work alienation — work involvement,” a model of alienation of personality, and a model of professional alienation. Upon the conclusion of the theoretical and psychological analysis of the basic conceptualizations of work alienation, a new understanding of the phenomenon being studied is formulated as an object and subject of psychological research. As an object of psychological research, work alienation is a combination of internal and external components of the psychological response of a person as a subject of labor, expressed in the psychological separation of a person from work and a change in his basic dominant trends in the evaluation and attitude to work activity, the perspective and quality of self-actualization at work. As a subject of psychological research, work alienation is represented in psychological patterns and individual psychological characteristics associated with the destruction of interpersonal communications, the perception by the subject of labor of his own powerlessness and loss of meaning in relation to work, the working environment and social environment, in the loss of identification of himself as an employee of the organization, in the general state of self-alienation in the context of current labor activity, and in violation and mistakes of interaction and communication in the workplace and in society.

General Information

Keywords: work alienation, subject of psychological research, object of psychological research, subject of labor, labor activity

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Vinokurov L.V., Kozhina A.A. Work Alienation as a Subject and Object of Psychological Research: Phenomenological Aspects of the Problem. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 359–373. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2019.403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Leonid V. Vinokurov, PhD in Psychology, senior researcher, associate professor, Saint-Petersburg Scientific Institute for physical culture, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Anastasiia A. Kozhina, postgraduate student, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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