Anomia is a social psychological
(social psychology) condition, rather than a societal
condition which anomie refers to, characterized by a
breakdown in values and a feeling of isolation. Anomia describes the individual's lack of
integration in social life. Anomia is more closely related to occupational aspiration than
to occupational level.
The term anomia has proved much
easier to measure than has David Emile Durkheim's
concept of anomie. In the philosophy of law and political science, anomia is
the state of the absence of law, the negation of law in the sense of lex.
Anomia in the sense of the lack
of a positive law promulgated by the authority of the state (lex) occurs in conceptions
that accept the existence of a pre-social and pre-political state of nature as a
historical fact or as a mere hypothesis.
Sociological concept of anomie
has undergone important transformations when applied in psychiatric research.
It is argued that these
transformations are not fully in concordance with the original theories of anomie as they
were set forth by Durkheim and Merton. Two approaches in social and cross-cultural
psychiatry are examined in this context. First, the concept of anomia as introduced and
applied in the research of Leo Srole is discussed. Second, attention is paid to the
concept of anomic depression as it was introduced by Wolfgang Jilek in his research among
the Coast Salish Indians. - Abstract From Anomie to Anomia and Anomic
Depression: A Sociological Critique on the Use of Anomie in Psychiatric Research -
Race, and Anomia
The variables most emphasized in relation to anomia have been
(1) urban residence and (2) position in the social structure. However, empirical studies
testing these hypotheses have relied primarily on white samples. This study, using both
white and Negro samples, suggests that for whites position in the social structure is more closely related to high anomia
than is urban residence, although urban residence and low status have an additive effect.
For Negroes, however, anomia is high for both small-town residents and lower-class urban
Negroes. But high position in the social structure plus urban residence reduces anomia. -
Abstract - Lewis M. Killian, Charles M. Grigg - The American Journal of Sociology, Vol.
67, No. 6 (May, 1962), pp. 661-665.
Anomia, Aspiration, and
Lewis Rhodes - Social Forces, Vol. 42, No. 4 (May, 1964), pp. 434-440.
Abstract: Aspiration is used to explain the imperfect relationship between anomia and low socioeconomic status. Young persons on the verge of
entering the competition for material success may be insulated from anomia by maintaining
high aspirations acquired during the educational process. Among the subjects studied,
anomia was more closely related to occupational aspiration than to occupational level. The
adolescents tended to score high on an anomia scale when there was a wide discrepancy
between aspiration and chances for success provided the family position in the social
structure is one where economic stress is maximized.
Anomia and deviant behavior in marketing: some
Caruana A.; Ramaseshan B.; Ewing M.T.
Abstract: Anomia describes the individual's lack of social
integration in social life. The construct has been linked to various types of
activities and concepts but no research appears to have been undertaken linking it to
deviant behaviour in marketing. In this preliminary study the literature on anomia and
deviant behaviour, specifically attitude toward fraudulent behaviour among retail
employees and academic misconduct among students, are examined. Hypotheses are formulated,
measurement instruments are identified and two surveys are carried out, one among
employees of a large retail chain and another among business undergraduate students. The
psychometric properties of the instruments are confirmed and relationships are
investigated using regression equations. The implications for theory are considered,
limitations are noted and directions for future research are indicated.