Article

Anomie

Eric P. Baumer

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online February 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0006
Anomie

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The term anomie has been widely used for the past several centuries to describe societal conditions. Although it has been defined and applied in different ways throughout history, it has been prominent in historical discussions of the consequences of rapid social change and the intersection of culture and social structure. Anomie theory was popularized by the classic works of Émile Durkheim and Robert Merton. It is also central to Steven Messner and Richard Rosenfeld’s contemporary explanation for the substantial variation observed in rates of serious crime across nations generally, and to their explanation for why America exhibits one of the highest rates of serious crime in particular. Merton’s anomie theory and Messner and Rosenfeld’s institutional-anomie theory (IAT) are prominent criminological theories and have stimulated a relatively large body of empirical research over the past few decades focused on identifying the social and cultural conditions that are most conducive to producing particularly high or low levels of crime.

Article.  5378 words. 

Subjects: criminology and criminal justice ; criminal justice ; criminology

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