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Durkheim's Theory of Anomie

Stephen R. Marks
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 80, No. 2 (Sep., 1974), pp. 329-363
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2777505
Page Count: 35
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Durkheim's Theory of Anomie
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Abstract

This paper traces Durkheim's theory of anomie as it emerges and develops throughout his career . It is argued that the major development did not occur until after the publication of Suicide, notwith standing Durkheim's interpreters' persistence in treating Suicide as the final statement of this theory. It is also shown how Durkheim remained most comfortable dealing with microsociological levels of analysis, and how his growing recognition of anomie as a macro-problem rendered it inherently insoluble as a problem, given his practical-humanistic orientation. In this connection, Durkheim's shifting and uncertain remedial proposals-occupational, political, educational, and "creation and renewal"-are traced and critically analyzed on his own terms.

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