Anomie meaning from Durkheim
When the rules of society no longer control people.
Anomie meaning from Merton
A feature or characteristic that is built into certain societies.
Merton says every society is comprised in two parts
The culture structure AND The Social structure
The culture structure
consists of societies goals. Those things that the member of society value and strive for.
The Social structure
consists of the legitimate means to achieve those goals.
Two imbalances can occur:
over-emphasis on cultural structure AND lack of access to social structure
over-emphasis on cultural structure
o In some societies there is an over emphasis on one or the other structure.
o Our society, in US, it is not balanced. Goals some societies think: Altruism, communitarianism, learning, and honor. Our societies want money the American dream.
o Goals structures vary within societies.
o The emphasis on using legitimate means to achieve goals is not as strong achieving the goals itself.
o "We have a win at all cost mentality". Which available means are you using to achieve your goals.
lack of access to social structure
o The legitimate means to achieve those goals in the US there is an imbalance because some don't have the same access to those means.
o Some groups find the legitimate means to achieve their goals repeatedly and systematically blocked or closed.
o We have conflict with the cultural structure and social structure.
o That imbalance between the goals and the means of the society causes Anomie and a characteristic that is built into certain societies.
If you're a member of that society you become angry, depressed, alienated. When you aspire to the goals and are unable to achieve the goals and get mad and frustrated and people respond to it in different ways.
Different ways of responding = different adaptations
Typology of Adaptations:
conformity, innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, & Rebellion
(++)is the adaptation where people accept the cultural goals and play by the legitimate means/rules to achieve the goals. (Most common adaption)
(+-)People that buy into the goals want money and want affluence and when they find those legitimate means blocked they adapt an alternative set of means, which are criminal or breaking the rules. (Most often used by the lower status groups). (Economic crimes- want same dreams and goals but use criminal ways to get it)
(-+)Involves adhering to the rules, but at the same time you scale down (reject) on legitimate goals. Lower your goals. Go through the motions day in and day out. Content with modest achievement. (Over conformity)Avoid frustration because they don't have high aspirations. (Working class)Most people today are like this.
(--)(Least common) Are individuals that have been socialized with social goals and means and at one time did buy into these dreams and when they failed they reject both the means and the goals and drop out of society. (In a society but not of the society) (Ex: drug addicts for possessing drugs, suicide, alcoholic)
(-/+, -/+)Rebellion is the adaption where they reject conventional means and goals and replace it with an alternative goal structure and an alternative means structure. Involves a transvaluation. (Ex: a cult, military extremist trying to change the current govt. and the Amish)
General Strain Theory by Bob Agnew
argues for an expansion of Merton's original understanding of "strain;"