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History and Development of Anomie Theory - Essay Example

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History and Development of Anomie Theory The term Anomie refers to the normlessness or the “personal feeling of lack of social norms” (Durkhiem, 1897). It talks about the classification of social norms and biases. In the past the word anomie had been used for various human behaviors but for last few hundred years, the word is more commonly associated with rapid changes in the social behavior…
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History and Development of Anomie Theory
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Download file to see previous pages Many sociologists associated the term “Anomie” with Durkheim. Durkheim was the man that spoke about ways in which an individual’s social behavior is integrated and matches with a system of norms and practices. Anomie may also refer to ‘mismatch’, indicating those societies that are too rigid and have lesser individual discrimination may also contribute to anomie or a mismatch between the individual circumstances and larger social mores (Star, 1997).  Durkheim also studied the effects of certain disasters on the human behavior. For instance war is always considered catastrophic for human race but he measured that it increased altruism, made possible the economic boom and causing anomie mismatch (Dohrenwend, 1959). This speaks avolumes about Durkheim’s take on anomie. If we look down the history of definition of this word, it has gone through a lot of changes becoming more loaded in its meaning and definition. History Durkheim first introduced the concept of Anomie back in 1993 when he presented and studied the mismatch between the guild labor and changing needs of society. In his opinion, the guild community was consistent and stagnant. He said that homogeneity was the equivalent of stoppage, and ignorance to free thinking and the essence of it was it repelled adaptation to new learning methods. In his opinion, the division of labor was more up to the task of ‘need changes’ and elaborated that organic solidarity lacked the inertial force making it more appropriate to deal with change. Durkheim further observed that these two labor divisions, the organic (ready to accept change) and Homogenous (stagnant) could not exist in the same environment. He said that it is very likely that when these two labor divisions are exposed to each other, in the long run one system will simply disappear in the presence of the other. “This social type rests on principles so different from the preceding that it can develop only in proportion to the effacement of that preceding type" (MacMillan, 1933). And “The history of these two types shows, in effect, that one has progressed only as the other has retrogressed" (MacMillan, 1933) He further said that when solidarity becomes organic anomie becomes impossible to take effect or even exist when solidary organs are prolonged considerably. Their need sensitivity fuels evolution in labor division. This happens because sensitivity makes them very alert and they can feel even slight changes from one part to another, they can predict and make adjustments to the equilibrium. In 1897, in his studies, ‘Suicide’, Durkheim related anomie with absence of norms or the presence of rigid social norms. But this rigidity in norms was a symptom and not the disease itself which was caused by less differential adaptation. Extricating Anomie and Strain Numerous scholars have merged Merton’s idea of anomie with his philosophy of strain, thus overlooking the alterations between the two models (e.g., Sharma 1980; Walsh 2000). The difficulty is occasionally additionally convoluted by addition of the notion of hostility (e.g., Mitchell 1984; see Besnard (1987:354-365). At other stints the anomie model is entirely snubbed in remedies for Merton’s theory of deviance. Trusting on an idea that differentiates two philosophies in Merton’s example, Francis Cullen (1984:75-87) therefore correctly contends that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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