Human Connection in the Light of the Writings of Karl Marx and Amartya Sen

An Investigation Using Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Manik Bandyopadhyay's Ekannoborti

in The International Journal of Social Quality
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  • 1 Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, India simantinihalder@gmail.com
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Abstract

This article uses Karl Marx's notions of alienation and antagonism to understand human connection, defined as the interrelationship between human beings that helps transcend self-interest and fosters the sense of solidarity. The Marxian notions are revisited using the works of Amartya Sen, particularly those on identity and violence. Sen's critique of rationality is discussed, invoking his notions of sympathy, antipathy, and commitment. The article uses two texts, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Manik Bandyopadhyay's Ekannoborti, as vantage points to understand the key concepts of Marx and Sen. It then discusses the backgrounds of the authors and the political interpretations of their work and shows how the overriding importance ascribed to a particular identity may convolute the literary motivation of an author.

Contributor Notes

Simantini Mukhopadhyay is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK), India. She received her PhD in Economics from University of Calcutta in 2015. Her areas of interest include Health Economics, Economics of Poverty and Inequality and History of Economic Thought. She has published her works in several international journals including Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, BMJ Open, BMJ Global Health, Asian Population Studies, and Journal of Biosocial Science. She has received the CICOPS Scholarship to visit University of Pavia for 12 weeks in 2020. Email: simantinihalder@gmail.com

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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