Anomie In Robert Merton's The Division Of Labor In Society

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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
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He defines the the term “anomie” as a condition in society where social and moral norms are unclear and are unpresent in the community. With the lack of these norms, it would further lead to deviant behavior. Durkheim raises concern that anomie with might emerge from the lack of agreement between people over social regulations, which is directed at restrictions that endanger the public health, safety welfare, and well-being of individuals in a community. Durkheim describes and identifies the two major causes of anomie: the division of labor and social change. The division of labor within societies is develops a strong sense of solidarity between communities. Society is also seen as being coercive force upon individuals and eventually it will not lead society to solidarity. Mechanical solidarity is where individuals have similarity among each other in experience and work tasks, the division of labor is low, and have a high collective consciousness. Organic solidarity is when the division of labor is high, the collective consciousness between people is low, interdependence between people, and have the sense of …show more content…
He examines the work of Stephen Cole states that anomie theory is “this theory has probably been more frequently cited and reprinted than any other paper in sociology. (Garfield, 1987: p. 273). He concludes that Merton’s theory of anomie is how a certain type of society and location within the society and location within that society generates motivation to commit deviant behavior and has become dominant in the 1960s. Garfield looks in the trends of anomie research and relationship between anomie and socioeconomic and marital status, drug use, advancing age, religion, and illness. He also looks at the relationship of anomie and deviant behaviors such as delinquency and crime. Merton states that anomie “at times attends success.” The anomia of success is seen as rare and is something to speculated, where people accomplish and respond to a high achievement, later having behaving with deviant behavior. Garfield finally concludes how the worldwide scientific community suffers from anomie described by Merton and his study of opportunity structure and anomie within large cities.

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