Durkheim`S Anomie Essay, Research Paper
discusses the social causes of suicide. His work shows how ideology contributes to stability, and he describes abnormal conditions as anomie. Durkheim states, “in normal conditions the collective order is regarded as just by the great majority of persons …[b]ut when society is disturbed by some painful crisis or by beneficent but abrupt transitions, it is momentarily incapable of exercising this influence [of limiting desires]”
What this means, is the dysfunctional and unbalanced state the populous mass has when there is rapid change in society, for better of worse. Anomie is the product of transition that leads to the incapability to know what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. This is the consequence of the people’s solidarity in society, which suggests that laws benefit everyone to the same degree. Thus, the loss of laws, which is also the loss of limits, causes a loss of comprehension. Anomie, in its literal sense means “a lack of norms”, a condition in which society has when society has no norms.
Durkheim refers directly to a state of economic turmoil, which he life is actually found” . Juridical and moral anomie is describing the state a society has when there is an absence of laws, or a confusion of laws (juridical), and when the masses feel they have a lack of norms in terms of morality (moral). In order to understand Durkheim, one needs to assert the fact that Durkheim believed that people did not know if they were violating the law or not, for their status was in anomie. He felt tremendous confusion on what the right thing was, and, he saw that the economy was unregulated. It was not established what fairness was between the buyer and the consumer. The economic order had no occupational ethic upon which everyone agrees.
His description of juridical and moral anomie was a conclusion to his reasoning that followed that: “the most blameworthy acts are so often absorbed by success that the boundary between what is permitted and what is prohibited, what is just and what is unjust, has nothing fixed about it” . Modern examples of this statement can be found with the scandal that followed with former President Clinton and his encounter with Monica Lewinsky. His affair seemed to be shadowed by his success in driving an economy and handling his job well. Another example of juridical and moral anomie in today’s society could be the deforestation of the rain forest, which has some significant ecological effects, and the wealth that comes from processing the wood. In turns, success forgives the blame. This is what Durkheim felt. He saw that if a society has no regulations, and if society is not open, anomie occurs and increases suicide. Durkheim states that “liberty is itself the product of regulation” leading to the knowledge that “I can only be free to the extent that others are forbidden to profit from their physical, economic, or other superiority to the detriment of my liberty.” Hence, one needs limits to acknowledge one’s happiness or success. In short, anomie is the chaotic state that leads one to say ‘is this right, or is this wrong?’ and leaves the person clueless about the answer.
2) Distinguish between Weber’s use of the term class and status. In your answer discuss (a) the definitions of class and status (b) what kind of actions one would expect from a class (c) what kind of actions one would expect from a status group. (10)
Weber, unlike Marx, defines class and status more precisely. His use of these terms are not of economic classes, such as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in Marx’s vocabulary, but defines a more specific group of people. Class, according to Weber, is the “casual component of their life chances” . ‘Life chances’ implies the patterns of opportunity that appear in life, but what determines the possible life chances? Weber determines that people are shaped by a common cause, which is something that is going to limit or expand their life’s chances. An example of such, would be a child born during a war, this would greatly affect, and direction his life, in comparison to another child born into a royal family. This common cause is what Weber depicts as ‘tatus’. Unlike Marx, the uses of these two words are more precise in the vocabulary of Weber, and his explanation of one’s life chances as someone born with different but yet similar economic possibilities. Marx eliminated this, with the abdication of two classes: owners and non-owners. Weber’s full, detailed definition of class is as follows:
“We may speak of a “class” when (1) a number of people have in
common a specific casual component of their life chances insofar
as (2) this component is represented exclusively by economic
interests in the possession of goods and opportunities for income,
and (3) is represented under the conditions of the commodity or
labor markets. This is “class situation.”
With this, Weber describes all types of individuals and all the factors that can affect or direction their lives. For example, (1) implying that either born on the streets or born in a palace, the possible directions are very different and affect each one’s respective survival chance. (2) states that some are born in different yet similar economic conditions, and thus survive accordingly, and thirdly (3), “condition of commodity” implies that some labor activities fluctuate, such as a ‘lobotomist’ today is no longer performing lobotomies, for such a practice has been extinct, but a natural gas owner would be in a state of frenzied ecstasy, especially if he resided in Northern California.
Weber describes status as social honor. He states that: “social honor is distributed in a community between typical groups participating in this distribution we call the “status order.” The prime example of contemporary low social honor, hence status, would be a wealthy drug dealer. This drug dealer is extremely wealthy but has low status, because his job or occupation is one that is degrading and labeled “bad”. Weber describes three orders of ranking in society:
The first being the ‘income order’ which ranks members of society . The second division of the first order being the “economic order” which ranks individuals on their personal wealth, on the basis of how much they are valued in society. The second being the “social order” that ranks in the guidelines of ones appearance, ones education level, and so forth. Social order, also as ‘social status’, is possibly clarified with the following example. A Status ranking of a male dominated is functional with any other kind genre.
Status is the prestige one has in society, it is the respect one gets in society, and excludes the economic factor that is a recurring factor in the previous order, and subdivision of social forms of ranking. In the early days, priests were highly regarded and widely respected and they gained no income from their job, but being a priest was something considered to be honorable. The have any documents don’t have any rights, and could be treated differently. In today’s modern society, this legal order could apply to gay and lesbians, children under the age of sixteen, individuals with no documents, and also to clergymen, such as the Bishop has more rights than a nun, and so forth. The economic factor is, once again, excluded from this order of ranking. Thus, class and status have , Stande (status groups) are normally groups” which is the basis of organization. Status groups (Stande) are almost anything else that is not economic, and so that status groups expect similar life styles or style of life. Status groups can be defined by small, slightly insignificant actions, such a becoming about your status group, ask yourself the following question, and the answer house, which is in constant transition between members but fully stable in its position and function. The people might change, but all inside stays the same.
Last, but not least, the dehumanization of the people are apparent when they are not composed of important positions, one addresses them by their function, and not by their persona. It is an interesting fact to consider that a “bureaucracy inevitably accompanies modern mass democracy in contrast to the democratic self-government of small homogeneous units.” A special correlation between democracy and a it is supposed to serve equality and supposedly reflects the consent of the governed, hence the people. But bureaucracies are the institutional level of equality,
5. Stuart Hall describes five elements of the of American culture to illustrate one of five elements described by Hall. (10)
One element of the formation of national culture found in the United States of America is the symbolism that ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ represents. Stuart Hall describes one of the elements of national culture by its struggle and almost ‘death-of-the-nation’ incident in , almost friends jump of a cliff, will you?” that I am convinced everyone child was asked when attempting to justify something by stating that others do it. Nevertheless, Mead says that this invaluable in gaining orientation and brings forth awareness of the generalized other, which are ns.
Given this, Durkheim follows up with the idea that “ the ideal society is not outside of the real society; it is part of it.” and that it is sui generis, implying that society is one of a kind. Above all, collective representations, mass traditional symbols, are more enduring, have more weight, and force in the world than other symbols. For it is this collective representation impression, that spreads the notions that one accepts, as opposed to individual representation that is bound to you exclusively, and that it is affected by your imte touch, and limits your world.