`` Anomie `` By Robert Merton Essay

1747 Words Jun 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
Robert Merton borrows the term “anomie” from the French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, who used the concept for his work on the division of labor and study of suicide.
In The Unanticipated Consequences of Social Action, Robert Merton examines how dysfunctional social patterns can be beneficial and functional to one group can be detrimental and dysfunctional for another social group. Merton further discusses “anomie,” a disjuncture the between cultural goals/values and structural opportunities to achieve certain values. The greater the division of people in a society, the greater the resentment. In stratified societies, poverty in communities breeds anomie, which is composed of haves and have nots between the people. Merton views the concept of anomie is that there are five responses or adaptations to anomie. The first response is ritualism, where is the response of lowering standards and expectations, accepting the means and and rejecting the goals. Second, is conformity, is temporarily lowering expectations and having the expectations of moving up. Conformity is accepting the means and accepting the goals. Third, innovation is the illegitimate means and resorting to illegal means. Fourth, retreatism is when individuals or groups leave a society and removing oneself from society, where they reject the ends and means of social order. They later give up on aspiring to achieve values of a society. Lastly is rebellion, where the people start to become activists of…

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