1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography



  1. The act of alienating.
  2. The state of being alienated.
  3. Law. A transfer of the title of property by one person to another; conveyance.
  4. The state of being withdrawn or isolated from the objective world, as through indifference or disaffection.
  5. Statistics. The lack of correlation in the variation of two measurable variates over a population.

Dictionary.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alienation?s=t (Accessed on May 22, 2013).


  1. A turning away; estrangement.
  2. The state of being an outsider or the feeling of being isolated, as from society.
  3. Psychiatry. A state in which a person’s feelings are inhibited so that eventually both the self and the external world seem unreal.
  4. Law.

a.  The transfer of property, as by conveyance or will, into the ownership of another.

b.  The right of an owner to dispose of his property.

Collins English Dictionary. Alienation. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alienation?s=t (Accessed May 22, 2013).


  1. The state or experience of being alienated.

a.  In Marxist theory. A condition of workers in a capitalist economy, resulting from a lack of identity with the products of their labour and a sense of being controlled or exploited.

b.  Psychiatry. A state of depersonalization or loss of identity in which the self seems unreal, thought to be caused by difficulties in relating to society and the resulting prolonged inhibition of emotion.

c.  Theatre. An effect, sought by some dramatists, whereby the audience remains objective and does not identify with the actors.

  1. Law. The transfer of the ownership of property rights.

The Oxford Online Dictionaries. Retrieved from http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/alienation?q=alienation (Accessed May 22, 2013). 


Examples and/or Illustrations

“[…] a complex and contested label is transformed by bureaucratic and regulatory processes, which both reproduce and reflect a political discourse of alienation and resistance to refugee claims” (emphasis added, Zetter, 2007: 188).

“These perceptions ranged from feelings of uncertainty and unfamiliarity about being in a new environment to feelings of isolation, alienation, rejection and being discrimination against” (emphasis added, McFarlane, Kaplan and Lawrence, 2011: 664). 


Other Useful Sources

Calhoun, C. (Ed). (2002). Alienation. In Dictionary of Social Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Egerton, F. (2010). Alienation and its discontents. European Journal of International Relations, 17(3), 453-474.

Ehlers, A., Macrcker, A., and Boos, A. (2000). Posttraumatic stress disorder following political imprisonment: the role of mental defeat, alienation and perceived permanent change. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109, 45-55.

Langman, L. and Kalekin-Fishman, D. (Eds.). (2006). The evolution of alienation: trauma, promise and the millennium. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Sayers, S. (2011). Marx and Alienation: Essays on Hegelian Themes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schwartz, D.C. (2007). Political Alienation and Political Behaviour. Piscataway, New Jersey: Aldine Transaction.

Scott, J. and Marshall, G. (2009). Alienation. In A Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Skempton, S. (2010). Alienation after Derrida. London; New York: Continuum.

Trummers, L. (2011). Explaining the willingness of public professionals to implement new policies: a policy alienation framework. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 77(3), 555-581. 



McFarlane, C.A., Kaplan, I. and Lawrence, J.A. (2011). Psychosocial Indicators of Wellbeing for Resettled Refugee Children and Youth: Conceptual and Developmental Directions. Child Indicators Research, 4, 647-677.

Zetter, R. (2007). More Labels, Fewer Refugees: Remaking the Refugee Label in an Era of Globalization. Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(2), 172-192.