Durkheim established himself as an exceptionally talented student and was known for his sharp intellect. Admittance to ecole (or college) proved difficult and due to the emotional distress of his father’s illness, Durkheim had to take the admissions exam three times before gaining admission.
In 1882 Durkheim began teaching philosophy and began to write about the history of socialism. In 1902, he became a professor and all students enrolled in the university seeking a degree in philosophy were required to take his courses. The concept of “anomie” was introduced to society by Durkheim in 1893. He introduced the theory in his book titled The Division of Labour in Society.
Distilled to its most natural state, anomie can be defined as a state of mind that is the result when expectations are not met or when expectations simply do not exist due to confusion. Durkheim felt that it was this state of mind which led to deviant behavior, specifically, suicide.
It is most likely that times of economic depression or economic windfall created the state of anomie in a person. Thus as a result of economic depression for example, the system breaks down and one is left in the state of anomie.
Durkheim did not equate men with animals. He felt that unlike animals, men were not satisfied when their biological needs were met, there was something more that men needed. He felt that men were insatiable and that the more they had the more they needed. This led to his theory on social regulation.