Understanding Society 2: Transformations
The concept of anomie is used to describe the lack of social norms that tends to produce normlessnes. Anomie portrays the failure of social bonds between the individual and society. This occurs through the fragmentation of social identity along with a rejection of self-regulatory values. Durkheim views anomie arising in general because of a mismatch between group standards or individual standards and wider social standards. He attributes such happening due to the lack of a social ethic that tends to produce moral deregulation as well as an absence of justifiable ambitions. The concept derives itself from Durkheim’s attempt at delineation of the social causes of suicide that occur due to the absence or reduction of standards or values. A feeling of alienation and purposelessness follows this development which leads to tendency for suicide. Durkheim held that anomie was common when surrounding society underwent momentous changes in terms of its economic structure and stratification. He also explained that when there is a remarkable difference between the ideology of a society, its professed value and its actual daily practices then the probability of anomie is high. The ideas presented by Durkheim lay in opposition to previous agreements on the issue of suicide. Previously it was held that a person committed suicide only due to negative events in a person’s life that led him to anxiety and depression. Once depression overpowered the person’s ability to think and act rationally then suicide was imminent.