Basic Human Needs, Alienation, and Inauthenticity

American Sociological Review, Vol. 33, Issue 6 (Dec., 1968), 870-885

Posted: 20 Nov 2013

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: December 1968

Abstract

This article presents a case for the usefulness of the concept of basic human needs. The author suggests that it is fruitful to assume that there is a universal set of basic human needs which have attributes of their own, not determined by the social structure, cultural patterns, or socialization processes. Ways are shown in which propositions which use the concept could be tested empirically. Restoration of the concept of basic human needs into sociological theory corrects the “over-socialized” conception of man, identifies a central distinction between the industrial and the emergent post-industrial society, and bridges two divergent traditions in sociology: structural-functional analysis and alienation.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Basic Human Needs, Alienation, and Inauthenticity (December 1968). American Sociological Review, Vol. 33, Issue 6 (Dec., 1968), 870-885. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356319

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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