The concept of alienation Melvin Seeman in 1959 provided a groundbreaking typology of fi ve varieties of alienation: normlessness, meaninglessness, self-estrangement, cultural estrangement, and powerlessness. His seminal work challenged the longstanding conceptualizations of alienation as a general, unidimensional phenomenon. The general notion of alienation saw the social world as politically and economically organized in ways that systematically prevented individuals from realizing their human potential. This consequently promoted their detachment, separation, disengagement, or disconnection from the social world. Western civilization had engendered a daily life that tended “by its very structure to produce the alienated, the disenchanted, the rootless, and the neurotic” (Nisbit 1953:19). While generalists acknowledged different aspects of alienation, they saw these differences as subtle and assumed that each dimension refl ected a “ general syndrome of alienation ” (Travis 1986:62; see also Suttie 1935; Glazer 1947; Pappenheim 1959). Alienation researchers further reasoned that, because there are substantial positive correlations among alienation subscales, “it is quite feasible to consider the sub-scales as belonging to the same general syndrome” (D. Dean 1961:756). In its baldest form, the unidimensional position identifi ed the general “isolable feature” of alienation as the individual’s “lack of power to overcome the discrepancy between what is and what ought to be,” and researchers were accordingly urged to develop “a measure of this more general dimension of alienation in society” (John Clark 1959:852).