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Compare and Contrast of “Alienation” and “Anomie”

The specific terms “Alienation” and “Anomie” are known as the two crucial concepts to understanding the overall paradigm of society. These particular features are closely concerned with the theory of suicide. These can be defined as the specific situations referring to the certain circumstances of the people by their association with society. The proper understanding of both these concepts ultimately helps to understand the existing paradigm of society.

Both the features of alienation and anomie are different from each other by considering the conceptual features. It is crucial to understand both the social terms of alienation and anomie to explain the features of differences between these concepts. Here the focus is to compare and contrast both the concepts of alienation and anomie closely concerning the social paradigm and critically discuss the specific remedies offered by Marx and Durkheim to deal with these particular problematic features.

It is crucial to understand the proper facet of both the social concepts of alienation and anomie to explain the feature of comparing and contrasting these two considered social terms. The feature of alienation can be particularly defined as the individual’s attempt to detach or separate from oneself, other people, or from the overall paradigm of society. It can be a difficult situation for the individual as it can be the feature to triggers the aspect of suicide in the individual. It can be characterized as the specific state in which an individual felt unable to connect with the overall paradigm of modern society effectively. The feature of alienation is the concern of behavioral patterns of someone which appears in the form of aspects of motiveless ferocity. On the other hand, Anomie is another crucial term closely concerned with the theory of suicide. Durkheim effectively explains the phenomenon of anomie and its role in the specific pattern of suicide for the individual.

The specific term anomie was developed by French sociologist Durkheim with its connection to the theory of suicide. According to Durkheim, the concept of anomie can be described as the social state that provides the necessary indications about the features of disintegration or disappearance of the specific paradigm of different norms and values (Lopreato and Chafetz, 117). It is crucial to mention that the specific feature of values or norms is considered the characteristics which are previously commonly applied in any society. The phenomenon of anomie can be defined as the specific state of instability that ultimately appears in the form of the itemization of different crucial standards and norms. The feature of uncertainty can also be examined in case of the absence of the aims or ideals.

It is crucial to understand that both the concepts of alienation and anomie are considered crucial to understanding the paradigm of the theory of suicide. Both social features are closely concerned with the individual’s connection with society. Karl Marx successfully develops the theory of alienation, referring to the economic and philosophic perspectives. According to Marx, different social associations can be considered in the form of a specific set that was initially developed by feudal societies. Further, he examined that the phenomenon of association is drastically affected by the modern form of industrial society. Marx effectively explains this concept with the example of people as laborers in society. He comes up with the opinion that the value of the workers becomes cheaper day by day as the cost of the commodity increases created by the workers. The extensive form of devaluation in the case of workers ultimately impacts their relationship with society or the overall world. The feature of devaluation in society is explained by Emile Durkheim in the form of the concept of anomie. The feature of anomie is different from the prospect of alienation because it comes up with the consideration of the specific form of “normalness,” which can be segregated into the different social elements of different regulations. The focus of Durkheim is to consider the social condition by different norms and values which play a crucial role in the development of society. These specific values or norms are also important because these values provide effective insights into the relationship between individuals and society (Acevedo, 76). Durkheim successfully introduces the prominent concept of “Anomic Suicide.” He explained that disruption between the specific norms and the regulation of the lifestyle ultimately becomes the reason for the weak association between the individual and the prospect of society. This particular disruption of connection ultimately leads the individual to the one crucial form of suicide, which can be identified as anomic suicide.

The concept of anomie is further explained in the form of the anomic form of suicide while Marx explains the feature of alienation by referring to the four degrees come up by the break of the broader aspect of alienation. The first prospect can be defined in the form of product alienation which is closely related to the aspect of production. This particular feature explains that different forms of the products are not effectively aligned with the specific potential and creativity of the workers. The second aspect of alienation is related to the “act of production.” It can be defined as the individual’s approach in the industrial society in which they do not have any other option irrespective to work and experience the facet of alienation. The third facet of alienation is defined by Marx in the form of “common purpose.” It can be referred to as the aspect of alienation that appears due to the degraded feature of the social association of the workers. “Alienation from humanity” is another crucial aspect of alienation. According to Marx, this type of alienation appears when an individual feels lost in association with the paradigm of society by losing the necessary sense of humanity for other individuals. Marx indicates that long working hour is the main reason for this form of alienation.

Durkheim describes the social problem of anomie as the imbalanced condition of society that comes with the consideration of “de-regulation” and “declassification.” Individuals lost their societal connections in the form of loss of necessary influence (Dohrenwend, 467). In other words, it can be characterized as the particular race that is adopted by the individual to achieve unattainable or irrational objectives. The prospect of failure ultimately becomes the reason for the feature of suicide. Proper understanding and anticipation of environmental changes can be an effective solution to avoid the negative implications of the feature of anomie. Further, the proper association between the internal and external factors related to regulatory power can play a crucial role in the specific behavioral patterns of individuals. Marx defines the prospect of alienation with the consideration of the industrial approach to society. According to him, the proper consideration of society can play a crucial role in effectively assessing and addressing the prevailing issue of alienation in individuals’ lives.

To conclude this, it is crucial to mention that alienation and anomie are considered two influential features when it comes to the association of individuals with society. These two prospects can create problems concerning the behavioral approach of individuals. The necessary understanding of the societal paradigm and the features of specific norms can be helpful in addressing the aspect of societal consideration.

Work Cited

Acevedo, Gabriel A. “Turning Anomie on Its Head: Fatalism as Durkheim’s Concealed and Multidimensional Alienation Theory.” Sociological Theory, vol. 23, no. 1, 2005, pp. 75–85.

Dohrenwend, Bruce P. “Egoism, Altruism, Anomie, and Fatalism: A Conceptual Analysis of Durkheim’s Types.” American Sociological Review, 1959, pp. 466–73.

Lopreato, Joseph, and Janet Saltzman Chafetz. “Social Integration, Regulation of Needs, and Suicide: An Emendation of Durkheim’s Theory.” Revue Européenne Des Sciences Sociales, vol. 17, no. 47, 1979, pp. 115–33.



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