Anomie is a term derived from the French word anomie, which literally translates as "the absence of law and / or organization." Because of this, anomie in sociology and psychology is understood as a moral and psychological state of consciousness (both as an individual and as a society), under which the destruction of the value system occurs. This disintegration is conditioned by the social crisis, it clearly traces the impossibility of achieving the set goals, the contradiction between expectation and reality.Anomie is


The concept of anomie was introduced in 1897 by Emile Durkheim, first applying it in his work entitled "Suicide."

The term is also associated with the ancient Greek ἀνομία, however, also denoting lawlessness, with the particle ἀ meaning "absence, negation, etc.," and νομία, respectively, "law."

Anomie is a state of society in which a large part of its members ignore or even deny the norms adopted in it.

The theory of anomie was developed not only by Durkheim, but also by Merton and Srol. Each of the scientists the concept of "anomie" is slightly different.

According to Durkheim

In his book under the "anomie" Emil Durkheim meant, above all, a contradiction. The one that arises between organic and mechanical solidarity.

What does it mean?

Organic solidarity are norms (individuals or groups) created under the influence of the natural. In the course of the development of society as a structure and / or the formation of the personality as such.

Mechanical solidarity, in turn, represents inertial norms, and they are generated by an industrialized society.

Durkheim himself believed that anomie is the result of the formation of a capitalist society. Indeed, just at that time the traditional norms were losing their power, and the bourgeois ones did not yet have sufficient influence on the society.

According to Merton

Robert King Merton, developing the theory of the concept introduced by Durkheim, reached the following conclusions.

First, that anomie is the lack of possibility to satisfy what most of the society needs in ways that society itself accepts.

Secondly, that the goals not only do not justify the means, but also contradict them.

Thirdly, the impact of the norms established in society is becoming less and less until it begins to tend to zero.

And fourthly, that adaptation to anomie occurs through life strategies such as the adoption of conformism as goals and means, but the rejection of innovation and reformism as a tool for achieving the goals, and as the final results themselves, they are accepted. And on the contrary: ritualism can be a means, but can not be the goal. Retreatism and rebellion are not accepted either as a method (method) of translating ideas into reality, nor as ideas themselves.

Prior to this, only social anomie was considered, and only Leo Sroul first proposed positioning the term from the point of view of psychology. It was with his light hand that the definition began to include not only the states of the society, but also a single individual, among whose characteristics the weakening or absolute destruction of social cohesion, the individual's craving for self-destruction by various physical and moral means.

Factors of development of social anomie

The essence of social anomie is the violation of public order. Below are the factors, "thanks" to which social anomie can develop as a phenomenon:

  • Natural, political, economic or other shocks, which led to the fact that most of the population stopped focusing on established norms, rejected the usual statuses and roles in favor of physical survival.
  • Corrosion of values, that is, the blurring of the boundaries between good and evil, the basis of norms of morals. As a consequence, criticism aside to recently important things, rhetorical questions from the society "Are they so important, as they thought?". The disintegration of social integrity.

Features and consequences of anemia

Anomie is a harmful influence on the society and on the personality in it. She alienates one from another, reduces the entire structure to "no." Desociality, which is one of the features of anomie, leads to the loss of the skills of regulating members of society through norms and rules, traditions and attitudes. Relationships and relations are the essential conditions for the existence of the society, they cease to be reproduced and self-reproduced, which leads to its unequivocal disintegration. Depending on the degree of anomie penetration into social life, it becomes more difficult to restore its structure.

The manifestation of this process in modern Russia is closely connected with the psychological mood of the population and its social status: instability and uncertainty in the future makes the situation shaky, the alternating dominance of installations very clearly characterizes the anomie of today. The unstable disagreement is emphasized by the inability of the authorities to put in order the connections of social principles.