Anomie - It is a state of social or individual moral-mental consciousness, which is characterized by the corruption of moral norms, the disintegration of the moral value system. The concept of anomia was proposed by a sociologist from France, Durkheim Emile, with the aim of interpreting deviant behavioral responses, for example, suicidal intentions, wrongful acts. The state of anomie is inherent in society in times of unrest, revolutions, restructuring, the crisis of society, due to the contradiction between the goals that were promulgated and their impossibility for the prevailing part of the subjects, that is, in those periods when the majority of members of a particular society lose trust in moral values, moral guides and social institutions. The problem of anomie is closely related to professional degradation, disappointment in life and the activities carried out, alienation of the individual from society, invariably accompanying the described phenomenon.
In the course of a rather abrupt change of goals and morals of a certain society, certain social categories no longer feel their own involvement in this society.
The concept of anomia is a process of destruction of the fundamental foundations of culture, in particular ethical norms. As a result, such categories of citizens are alienated. In addition, they reject new social ideals, norms and morals, including socially proclaimed patterns of behavior. Instead of using generally accepted means of achieving goals of an individual or public orientation, they put forward their own, often unlawful.
The state of anomia, affecting all strata of the population with social upheavals, has a particularly strong impact on the youth.
Anomia is in sociology any kind of "deviations" in the value and normative system of society. First introduced the term anomia Durkheim. He considered as anomia the absence of law, norms of behavior, or their insufficiency. Durkheim emphasized that the problem of anomia is born more often in the context of dynamic reforms and during periods of economic crisis. The described concept provokes a certain psychological state of the individual, characterized by a sense of loss of life guidelines, emerging when the subject is faced with the need to enforce conflicting norms. In other words, such a state is born when the previous hierarchy is destroyed, and a new one has not yet formed. As long as the social forces that are left to themselves during the crisis periods do not come to equilibrium, their relative value cannot be taken into account, therefore, any regulation is found to be insolvent for some time.
Later, this phenomenon is understood as a state of society, caused by the excess of conflicting norms (Merton anomie). In such conditions, the individual is lost, not understanding exactly what standards should be followed. The integrity of the regulatory system, the procedure for regulating social relations is crumbling. People in these conditions are socially disoriented, they experience anxiety, a sense of isolation from society, which naturally provokes deviant behavioral responses, crime, marginality and other asocial phenomena.
Durkheim saw the reasons for the anomie in opposition to the "established" and modern industrial society.
The anomie problem is caused by the transitional nature of the historical period, the temporary decline in the moral regulation of new economic and capitalist relations.
Anomie is a product of incomplete transformation from mechanical unity to organic unity, since the objective foundation of the latter (the social distribution of labor) progresses more intensively than it searches for a moral basis in the collective consciousness.
Factors of anomie occurrence: a collision of two categories of socially generated phenomena (the first is interests and needs, the second is the resource for their satisfaction). According to Durkheim, a prerequisite for personal integrity is a cohesive and stable society. In the generally accepted order, the abilities of individuals and their needs were provided quite simply, since they were restrained at a low level by an appropriate collective consciousness, hindering the development of individualism, personal liberation, setting strict limits to what the subject could seek in a legal way in a given social situation. The hierarchical feudal society (traditional) was constant, because it set different goals for different layers and allowed each member to feel their own being meaningful inside a limited closed layer. The development of the social process provokes the growth of “individualization” and at the same time snatches the power of group supervision, the stable moral boundaries inherent in the old time. The degree of personal freedom from tradition, group mores, prejudices, the presence of an individual choice of knowledge and means of action expands dramatically in new conditions. A relatively free device of industrial society ceases to determine the vital activity of individuals and constantly recreates anomie, implying the absence of stable life ideals, norms and patterns of behavior, which puts most people in a position of uncertainty, deprives collective unity, a sense of connection with a certain category and the whole society. All of the above leads to an increase in society deviating and self-destructive behavioral reactions.
Social norm and social anomie
One of the fundamental concepts of sociology is the social norm, which is considered as a mechanism for evaluating and regulating the behavioral response of individuals, categories and social communities. Social norms are called prescriptions, attitudes, expectations of proper (socially approved) behavior. The norms are some ideal patterns that determine what individuals should say, think, feel, and do in certain conditions. The system of norms that operate in a particular society, forms an integral totality, the various structural elements of which are interdependent.
Social norms are the responsibility of one individual in relation to another or social environment. They determine the formation of a network of public relations of a group, a society. Also, social norms are the expectations of groups of different numbers and in the whole society. The surrounding society expects each individual who adheres to the norms of a certain behavioral response. Social norms determine the development of a system of social relationships, including motivation, ideals, the aspirations of the actors, expectation, evaluation.
The social state, which consists in the loss by its members of the significance of social attitudes and ideals, which provokes the multiplication of deviant behavior, is called social anomie. In addition, it manifests itself:
- in the absence of comparison standards in people, social assessment of their own behavior, which provokes a “lumpenized” state and the loss of group unity;
- in the discrepancy between social goals and approved ways of achieving them, which pushes individuals towards illegal means of achieving them in the event of the unattainability of the goals set by law.
Sociologists, comparing the concepts of anomia to deviant behavior, considered the point of intersection of their non-observance by members of society of the norms established by him. The main difference between the terms anomia and deviant behavior lies in the social scale of the factors that provoked their manifestation. The nature of anomia is much deeper. It is caused by serious social transformations that affect society as a single system and its individual members.