anomie

1. (noun) Social instability caused by erosion or absence of morals, norms, standards and values in an individual or society.

2. (noun) A personal state of alienation, anxiety, and purposelessness caused by social instability and the loss of regulation.

Audio Pronunciation: (an·o·mie)

Download Audio Pronunciation: anomie.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Term popularized by Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) in Suicide (1897).
  • Variant form:
    • anomia
    • anomy
  • Also called:
    • anomie theory
    • normlessness
  • A society experiencing anomie is (adjective) anomic.

Related Terms: 

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