Modern Political Anomie
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This study explores the political sociological theory of Emile Durkheim to demonstrate that political anomie has resurfaced in American society. Symptoms of anomie are identified by relating sudden regime changes affecting world politics and periods of political turmoil within the US with indicators of suicide, xenophobia, conservative ideology, and the stripping of rights. For Durkheim, democracy is effective communication between the State and the people, not simply rule by the people, but the role of the State must never be tyrannical. Political anomie occurs when the individualistic will of the people predominates and rules over the State. Durkheim links economic anomie with political anomie, because all major social functions in society are made secondary to economic functions: This is problematic as the only rule in economics is that of self-interest, which is insufficient for morality, and the consequences amount to “a public danger” (Durkheim 1957 p. 18). Durkheim describes democratic political systems ruled by the will of the people as “pseudo-democracies” characterized by chaos, stormy changes in politics, instability, and evil, because the will is inherently unstable. Durkheim’s works, primarily his book Professional Ethics and Civic Morals (1957), provide the theoretical framework. To better situate his work, I draw upon several research articles by Stjepan Mestrovic on Durkheim’s political anomie, Durkheim’s Political Sociology (1971) and Durkheim on Politics and the State (1986) by Anthony Giddens.
Professional Ethics and Civic Morals
Kenyon, Cassidy (2018). Modern Political Anomie. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from