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or an·o·my  (ăn′ə-mē)
1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals: "We must now brace ourselves for disquisitions on peer pressure, adolescent anomie and rage" (Charles Krauthammer).

[French, from Greek anomiā, lawlessness, from anomos, lawless : a-, without; see a-1 + nomos, law; see nem- in Indo-European roots.]

a·nom′ic (ə-nŏm′ĭk, ə-nō′mĭk) adj.


(ˈænəʊmɪ) or


(Sociology) sociol lack of social or moral standards in an individual or society
[from Greek anomia lawlessness, from a-1 + nomos law]
anomic adj


or an•o•my

(ˈæn əˌmi)

a condition of an individual or of society characterized by a breakdown or absence of norms and values or a sense of dislocation and alienation.
[1930–35; < French < Greek anomía lawlessness. See a-6, -nomy]
a•nom•ic (əˈnɒm ɪk) adj.
mores, anomie - Mores is the Latin plural of mor/mos and means "acquired customs and manners"; social and moral conventions are mores, and the lack of these is anomie.
See also related terms for social.

anomie, anomy, anomia

a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by an absence or breakdown of social and legal norms and values, as in the case of an uprooted people. — anomic, adj.
See also: Law


1. A term introduced by Durkheim to refer to a situation where the conditions for happiness are absent. Durkheim argued that one of the conditions for happiness was that there should be clear norms governing social behavior. The absence of these norms resulted in anomie and unhappiness.
2. A feeling of anxiety, hopelessness, and lack of purpose caused by the absence or breakdown of standards and values in society.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.anomie - personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulationanomie - personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulation
isolation - a state of separation between persons or groups
2.anomie - lack of moral standards in a society
immorality - the quality of not being in accord with standards of right or good conduct; "the immorality of basing the defense of the West on the threat of mutual assured destruction"


, anomy
nAnomie f, → Gesetzlosigkeit f


f (psych) anomia
References in periodicals archive ?
The recent National Book Award winner for Short Fiction in English enjoys collaboration with 17 outstanding graphic artists for this unique collection of komiks stories that may only be acknowledged as comic if one had an equally strange appreciation of anomie, existentialism and nihilism in non-nerdy narratives.
Two decades ago, I wrote a piece suggesting that Pakistan might be suffering from what Emile Durkheim called anomie. Anomie is a situation where society provides little guidance to the individual.
He covers China in transition: Jia Zhangke's Hometown Trilogy, postmodern anomie or postsocialist alienation, problematic narration of the historical experience of the working class, portraying the abject and the sublime of the subaltern, exhibiting the confusion and melancholy of artist, women's changing destiny in the post-revolutionary fantasyland, in the name of love: ideology of the elite class, and whither China: Wang Chao's China Trilogy.
He also blamed the downturn on a four-month investment anomie period occasioned by the absence of a Governing Board.
Even if individuals prospered, they tended to feel alienated from the larger society and pessimistic about it, suffering from what mile Durkheim called anomie.
The West "collectively plunged" the war-ravaged nation into what he called an "anomie" without being able to manage the situation afterwards.
While enabling new modes of identity construction and self-broadcast, it is also accessory to the rise of demagogues and the impoverishment of discourse, yielding social anomie and networks of fascism.
One such sociological phenomenon that has been discussed in the literature was developed by Durkheim (1897) and by Srole (1956) and Merton (1938, 1995) in the psychological literature known as anomie and anomia.
Over the last century, three related emotions, in particular, have fuelled backlashes against globalisation: fear, suspicion, and anomie.
"The Sociology of Deviance" is an exemplary work of impressively accessible scholarship organized and presented in three major section: Background (The Nature of Deviance; Studying Deviance); Theories (An Overview of and Introduction to Sociological Theories of Deviance; Anomie and Structural Theories Extended--Strain Theories; Control Theories; Societal Reaction and Other Social Processes Theories; Conflict and Feminist Theories); Substantive Areas (Suicide; Criminal Behaviors; Addictions and the Use and Abuse of Substances; Sexual Behaviors and Differences; Elite and Power Deviance).
Essential to classroom discussion of concepts, the glossary simplifies hyper-reality, anomie, and ninety-four other terms crucial to an understanding of the development of social science.