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Word Count: 317
Emile Durkheim a French sociologist introduced the concept of anomie in his book The Division of Labour in Society published in 1893 He used anomie to describe a condition of deregulation that was occurring in society This meant that rules on how people ought to behave with each other were breaking down and thus people did not know what to expect from one another Anomie simply defined is a state where norms expectations on behaviours are confused unclear or not present It is normlessness Durkheim felt that led to deviant behaviour In 1897 Durkheim used the term again in his study on Suicide referring to a morally deregulated condition Durkheim was preoccupied with the effects of social change He best illustrated his concept of anomie not in a discussion of crime but of suicide In The Division of Labour in Society Durkheim proposed two concepts First that societies evolved from a simple non-specialised form called mechanical toward a highly complex specialised form called organic In the former society people behave and think alike and more or less perform the same work tasks and have the same group-oriented goals When societies become more complex or organic work also becomes more complex In this society people are no longer tied to one another and social bonds are impersonal Anomie thus refers to a breakdown of social norms and it a condition where norms no longer control the activities of members in society Individuals cannot find their place in society without clear rules to help guide them Changing conditions as well as adjustment of life leads to dissatisfaction conflict and deviance He observed that social periods of disruption economic depression for instance brought about greater anomie and higher rates of crime suicide and deviance Durkheim felt that sudden change caused a state of anomie The system breaks down either during a great prosperity or a great depression anomie is the same result
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