Based on capability approach, UNDP‟s concept of human development needs to be challenged by critical view from Marx‟ theory of alienation and commodity fetishism. Created from latter processes, insecurity of commodified life and commodity illusions affect strongly to capability to choose what people value. Interactions among those processes require crossing reference from alienation and commodity fetishism in evaluating human development. Particularly, alienation and commodity fetishism create fluctuation in the human development so that the latter is hardly sustained. To overcome this matter, it is necessary to replace the domination of circumstances and of chance over individuals by the domination of individuals over chance and circumstances. This means that human development envisioned by UNDP should be expanded to the meaning advocated by Marx. Above points are drawn from fieldwork conducted in troubling enterprises in Vietnam. In which, the research identify adaptation of workers, managers, and owners against troubles of enterprises.

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Keywords alienation, commodity fetishism, human development, Marxism, capability, freedom, commodification, commodity production, labour division
Thesis Advisor Cameron, John
Persistent URL
Series Development Research (DRES)
Dai, Duong Duc. (2011, December 15). Human development in the increasingly commodified society in Vietnam: A critical view building on the concepts of alienation and commodity fetishism. Development Research (DRES). Retrieved from