Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Alienation of human existence
Imbalance between collective existence and personal life
Social alienation

The term alienation has been used by philosophers, psychologists and sociologists to refer to a very wide range of psycho-social disorders including: loss of self, anxiety, anomie, despair, depersonalization, rootlessness, apathy, social disorganization, loneliness, atomization, meaninglessness, isolation, pessimism, and the loss of beliefs or values.

Basically, alienation refers to an individual sense of estrangement from society; or to the state of isolation of those people who, because of their customs, allegiances, behaviour, race or other factors, are marked out by those with whom they mix as "different", strange and sometimes unacceptable. Thus, certain people, races, social classes or groups are alien for various reasons from the point of view of the surrounding society. The ensuing sense of estrangement or self-alienation involves the loss of a sense of identity, a feeling of powerlessness to affect social change and of depersonalization in a large and bureaucratic society.


Alienation has become a central notion of contemporary sociology.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
B: Basic universal problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST