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Anomie Durkheims Theory

By sarahbaldwin Nov 04, 2009 403 Words
Durkheim argued that anomic suicide takes place when normative regulations are absent, such as in the world of trade and industry (chronic anomie), or when abrupt transitions in society lead to a loss in the effectiveness of norms to regulate behavior (acute anomie). The latter type explains the high suicide rate during fiscal crises and among divorced men

Anomie - A condition characterized by the absence or confusion of social norms or values in a society or group. Anomie is also one of the ways that Durkheim categorised the different types of suicide. Anomie is a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values Anomie is a concept that was used in both the studies of Emile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton. Anomie is a modern problem, as fatalism is a traditional one--at least in Durkheim's thinking. acute rather than simple anomie is the focus, a distinction made by DeGrazia (1948), characterizing individuals rather than society. Anomic suicide was divided it into four categories: acute and chronic economic anomie and acute and chronic domestic anomie Acute economic anomie: sporadic decreases in the ability of traditional institutions (such as religion, guilds, pre-industrial social systems, etc.) to regulate and fulfill social needs (Durkheim,1897). Chronic economic anomie: long term dimunition of social regulation. Durkheim identified this type with the ongoing industrial revolution, which eroded traditional social regulators and often failed to replace them. Industrial goals of wealth and property were insufficient in providing happiness, as was demonstrated by higher suicide rates among the wealthy than among the poor (Durkheim,1897). Acute domestic anomie: sudden changes on the microsocial level resulted in an inability to adapt and therefore higher suicide rates. Widowhood is a prime example of this type of anomie (Durkheim,1897). Chronic domestic anomie: referred to the way marriage as an institution regulated the sexual and behavioral means-needs balance among men and women. Marriage provided different regulations for each, however. Bachelors tended to commit suicide at higher rates than married men because of a lack of regulation and established goals and expectations. On the other hand, marriage has traditionally served to overregulate the lives of women by further restricting their already limited opportunities and goals. Unmarried women, therefore, do not experience chronic domestic anomie nearly as often as do unmarried men (Durkheim,1897).

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